According to the Recording Industry Association of America, shipments of vinyl LPs jumped more than 36 percent from 2006 to 2007, growing to more than 1.3 million. Shipments of CDs dropped more than 17 percent during the same period, to 511 million, as they lost some ground to digital formats
Nearly 450 million CDs were sold last year, versus just under 1 million LPs, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Based on the first three months of this year, Nielsen says vinyl album sales could reach 1.6 million in 2008.
“I don’t think vinyl is for everyone; it’s for the die-hard music consumer,” said Jay Millar, director of marketing at United Record Pressing, a Nashville based company that is the nation’s largest record pressing plant.
An avid music fan himself, Millar says he has moved to vinyl in recent years.
“Once I got my first iPod … I’m looking at my wall of CDs and trying to justify it,” Millar said. “The things I like — the artwork, the liner notes, the sound quality — it dawns on me, those are things I like better on vinyl.” He welcomed back the pops and clicks, even some of the scratches.
“I like that fact that it’s imperfect in a lot of ways, live music is imperfect too,” Millar said.
Image: Tilton Lane