While more of the general public prefer streaming and not “owning their music” there are those of us that want to collect music (like on vinyl)! I know it gets me excited when I purchase a new album, don’t you?
Let’s look at one company who, despite many industry reports of music sales going down, have proved that they can make money from selling music (the way fans want it):
Bandcamp: Defying the Odds
Bandcamp released a statement last month on how they were seeing their 35% growth last year. They deliver simple site usage for both the musician and music lover alike. Many albums have every song in its entirety streaming so you know what you are getting. They also sell CDs, Vinyl, and heck even cassette tapes if you choose to get that.
Fans pay artists $4.3 million dollars every month using the site, and they buy about 25,000 records a day, which works out to about one every 4 seconds…Digital album sales on Bandcamp grew 14% in 2015 while dropping 3% industry-wide, track sales grew 11% while dropping 13% industry-wide, vinyl was up 40%, cassettes 49%… even CD sales grew 10% (down 11% industry-wide). Most importantly of all, Bandcamp has been profitable (in the now-quaint revenues-exceed-expenses sense) since 2012.” -Bandcamp
Bandcamp is a great case of fans wanting to pay for their music, whether digital or physical. But if you just reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally love an album, you would want to get it held on your hands right? If anything I would say that would be a reason for the resurgence of vinyl.
About Vinyl’s Current Popularity….
Do you collect your music on CDs or Vinyl? If you noticed lately there has been a resurgence of LP or Vinyl. Some sites, like at Fortune state that Vinyl sales are at an all time high, thanks to the the hipsters and the growing trend among people in their 30’s or younger.
Will Vinyl reign again as the dominant music media? Is it here to stay (again)? Highly unlikely, as Digital Music News are seeing a trend of Vinyl sales are slowing down.
For us Anime and Video Game Soundtrack nerds, some companies like Tiger Lab Vinyl are releasing classic soundtracks like Devilman and Wicked City. For video games there is something like the upcoming Fallout 4 Vinyl Soundtrack. There is even some Vocaloid albums on Vinyl! Clearly there is interest, but for how long?
Even the original Evangelion Soundtrack is on Vinyl! (links to affiliate link at CDJapan)
My Media Compromise:
I stated on a previous post that I wanted something better than a CD or Vinyl. Sadly, it looks like that next format might not be in the future.
And yet I offer a compromise that can work: Offer a USB stick with your Vinyl!
Yes, sell the Vinyl and a USB stick of the best quality digital files all in one package! In this solution, there is the compromise: the Vinyl for display and collection purposes, the USB for ease of quality and usage for your Hi-Fi systems. Just load into your computer, then transport/store/convert all you want!
For this the USB can be clearly customized to size and look on whatever the artists and labels want. For the budding indie musician, they can simply buy pack of them and load up. You can easy transport and hand out at gigs.
But what about Vinyl for those guys and gals? Well there is a plant in Dallas called Hand Drawn Records that want to simplify the process and make it easier for musicians.
This solution also does not need company and worldwide adoption and acceptance, and many do not need to get new equipment just to read the files. You can load up your music into your computer that probably does not have a CD drive anymore. You can play the vinyl on your turntable if you desire, but if you want to keep that pristine vinyl un-tainted then the USB stick is just for you!
One More Crucial Thing…
And one last thing about this compromise: DO NOT OVERCHARGE IT. Seriously, for a standard 1 vinyl and 1 USB stick digital files, just change around $20-25 dollars for a standard edition. Like many other music fans I am sick and tired of major record companies forcing you to either re-buy albums again and again or release a HiRes version that costs 3 times as much and you don’t get a copy held in your hands.
What do you think of my solution? Let me know all the goods, bads, and uglies of my solution in the comments down below!