Vinyl sales exceed CDs for first time in 40 years

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  • Vinyl sales exceed CDs for first time in 40 years
  • This does surprise me.
    Although I do think that nostalgia and the “need” to add another media player to the collection have fueled this growth.

    How do you listen to yours?

    I’m CD only but stream (Spotify Prem.) before I decide there’s something worth buying.

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Subscriber

    I’ve not bought a cd for a few years now. If I’m out and about then I’ll stream, at home it’s mainly vinyl (sometimes cd or streaming)

    I pay for Google play music for the family, the two kids mostly. I buy some vinyl, albums/artists I really like mostly as I can’t afford to buy a lot but I understand artists get very little from streaming services. Up until recently I still bought CDs, lots of good second hand shops and a good Fopp nearby meant they could be had for not much money but my cd deck is on the blink so I’ve stopped buying CDs until I replace my cd player which won’t happen for a while.

    mattyfez
    Member

    Supprised it didn’t happen sooner, CD is basically a dead storage format, vinyl for the hipsters /audiophiles, streaming or HDD/SSD or flash storage for everyone else.

    We never got around to getting the old Blu Ray (and CD) player out of the old PC base that’s been sitting in the cupboard for ~5+ years and putting it in the newer base, everything is streamed these days, all my 80s/90s/00s CDs simply take up room and gather dust these days!

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    Not that surprised really, just in the process of ripping about 100 cd’s to hard drive in a post Christmas purge, bought a network player recently and currently part way through free 3 month free trial on Deezer but I do like to be in dependant of Internet services where I can.

    joshvegas
    Member

    Steven I might have a marantx cd player downstairs you can have if you want it

    I say might but I might have been forced to throw it out.

    If you did that would be great, would go with my Marantz amp and might mean I could ditch a remote.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I’ve slowed down on vinyl purchases – don’t really see the point in adding to what I’ve already got and £4.99(ish) for a downloaded album or £20+ for the vinyl, which I’m less likely to play..? Hmm. Still buy CDs and cassettes too. My fave album of last year was played more than most others simply because I had the CD in my car stereo. Format isn’t anywhere near as important as the actual content. Sounds obvious, I suppose.
    Last time I saw someone buying a vinyl record in a shop it was some teenager buying the Oasis debut album for £25..! This was about a year ago. What a weird thing to buy, I thought, but I guess that shows what sort of market it is.

    Coz CDs are rubbish. Well, they’re not, but streaming/downloading is more practical for listening, anywhere, and vinyl is nicer to own. Hence I have a hard disk full of mp3s and a Spotify Premium account, which get used most of the time, and a shelf full of the albums I love so much that I wanted to own a physical recording, which come out when I want to properly listen to an album in the living room.

    I upgraded my CD player last year and use CDs a lot. I like the fact they have gone out of fashion as there are lots of great albums for sale cheap and I’m gradually getting through the 1001 albums to hear before you die.

    Premier Icon northernsoul
    Subscriber

    I get bothered by problems with dynamic range – a lot of modern releases (or recent re-releases/remasters) are compressed to the point of being unpleasant to listen to. Some of the vinyl releases have better dynamic range than the same release via download or CD, so I can see some justification for buying vinyl in SQ terms. I quite often buy an older release on CD via Discogs and rip it rather than buy a more recent download. The Dynamic Range Database is useful for finding the better versions of a release. Some download sites (e.g. Qobuz and Juno) will let you choose between different versions of a release.

    Premier Icon eskay
    Subscriber

    What really astonishes me about this is that CDs have been around for 40+ years, Jesus I am getting old!!!

    wordnumb
    Member

    I’ll generally buy a cd if available, mp3s/wavs if not. Vinyl melts in cars and doesn’t survive being dropped or sat on. Vinyl can be a pain for small bands, knowing how much to press, transporting to sell at gigs, cds are far easier. There are increasing issues with vinyl being cut from a cd rather than the master (and most music benefits from being mastered for each different format) and with big labels blocking pressing plants – which makes it difficult for small bands to schedule releases to coincide with tour dates. I was going to add that I prefer physical releases because you get info on the people involved, additional musicians engineers etc, but a surprising number of bands forget to mention everything when they come to write liner notes.

    Premier Icon slackalice
    Subscriber

    Forty years? Really? CD’s were a thing in 1980? 🤔

    Thirty years I could see, but I can’t recall the tech being commonly available/affordable in the late 70’s.

    jb72
    Member

    CDs came out in 1982.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Loads of vinyl but I wouldn’t buy new.
    £25? Yeah, right.

    CD’s from the local charity shop for me. 50p each or fill a carrier bag for a tenner.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    CDs are actually brilliant. Say you don’t stream (I don’t stream), cos the apps are shite and you want to own an album from the past, like the 60s. Ebay, or other 2nd hand shops, you can purchase the album for mere pence on CD and burn it to your digital collection, as well as owning the hard copy. That’s not rubbish. Not for me anyway.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Thinking about that – I wonder if this ‘vinyl sales exceeds CD sales’ takes into account ALL sales or just brand new… I strongly suspect not – I bet CDs still far outsell vinyl in the 2nd hand market.

    stuey
    Member

    I now thought “compact cassette” was where its at 😉

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Subscriber

    I’ve made near to £500 in the last few weeks selling the old vinyl that’s sat in boxes in the wardrobe. Mostly early 90’s indie/grunge stuff. We’ve moved house twice since I last had the kit set up.

    CountZero
    Member

    Coz CDs are rubbish. Well, they’re not, but streaming/downloading is more practical for listening, anywhere, and vinyl is nicer to own.

    No, they aren’t. Streaming relies on a high quality network connection, which only a complete fantasist would say exists everywhere. A good example is a place in south Devon which I like to go on holiday when I can. There is no phone signal at all, zip, zilch, nada. Even where I work in Westbury, with a 4G signal, a web page can just refuse to load, and I just do not trust streaming services to maintain their services; none of them offer anything different to any other, and none are making money; Spotify are negotiating with the record companies and are hinting about cutting what they pay artists! They already pay virtually nothing, 1.8 million streams nets less than £1000, it’s virtually impossible for any artist to earn a living, because people only cherry pick one or two tracks from an album, not the whole album, streaming doesn’t encourage recording albums.

    CDs are actually brilliant. Say you don’t stream (I don’t stream), cos the apps are shite and you want to own an album from the past, like the 60s. Ebay, or other 2nd hand shops, you can purchase the album for mere pence on CD and burn it to your digital collection, as well as owning the hard copy. That’s not rubbish. Not for me anyway.

    Absosoddinglutely! I’ve now got 13,000 tracks on my phone, I’m gradually rebuilding my iTunes library after HDD failures in my computer and the backup HDD lost half of what I had – around 23,000 – but I’ve still got all the cd’s, so nothing’s actually lost.
    Getting cd’s signed is something I like to do, it gives a more personal connection with the artist which is lost with streaming; when I saw JD Souther in Bristol a few years back in Bristol, I took along my vinyl and CD copies of his 1976 album Black Rose, and his face lit up to see them, and this is a bloke who wrote and co-wrote some of The Eagles greatest hits! He was thrilled I had them, and took them along, which made me very happy.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    I get bothered by problems with dynamic range – a lot of modern releases (or recent re-releases/remasters) are compressed to the point of being unpleasant to listen to. Some of the vinyl releases have better dynamic range than the same release via download or CD

    Well that would be an issue with production rather than the media as CD has a far greater potential dynamic range than vinyl.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Like the traction engine driver arguing with the horse and cart by the sliproad to the M1, they are both nice enough as hobbies, but irrelevant to the general public, the world has moved on.

    I’m not throwing away my CDs or vinyl, but buying one isn’t likely to be a regular thing again. A couple of artists I’ll buy a CD direct from their website to make sure I support them, but I know that’s out of step, and with the likes of Patreon as funding streams are changing things again for new artists, who knows where it goes next.

    As an aside, we binned the boombox from the corner of the kitchen this Christmas as the volume control was shot, but saved the New Order Substance cassette that’s been sat in it for the last decade or so. My son was asking was it really from 1987 and I had to sadly say it was, it was a retrospective album of the good stuff before they went to shit, but the vinyl was still safely in my office if he wanted a listen. Not sure if we have a working cassette player in the house now, must have a rummage inone of those drawers for my old walkman. Do you think it will have Bluetooth?

    phil5556
    Member

    I like records. I don’t have that many but do enjoy digging them out and sitting down for an evening listening, they are nice to own.

    I just bought a new turntable last week too.

    I haven’t bought a CD in the last couple of years apart from a couple of things I couldn’t find on streaming services. I love the convenience of being able to listen to anything anywhere.

    Premier Icon northernsoul
    Subscriber

    Well that would be an issue with production rather than the media

    Exactly. But just because CD has a better potential DR doesn’t mean that it used – it often isn’t (especially for CDs released mid-90s onwards), as record companies want their music to sound ‘louder’ and so push the sound levels up. The Metallica album Death Magnetic is a notorious example, where some fans complained about the amount of compression in the initial release. Many early CD releases share the vinyl master and are better for it when compared with later remasters.

    stumpy01
    Member

    ^^^ my copy of Death Magnetic is (to my ears) unlistenable. It’s like someone stuck it on cassette for me, but turned the levels up way to high.

    There was an interview with Lars I saw where he was basically saying it was supposed to be like that and all the people complaining just didnt understand what they were trying to achieve.

    I’m surprised though that so many CDs were being sold in 1980. I don’t think i knew anyone with a cd player until the late 80s at the earliest….it was all vinyl or cassette.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Well to be fair dynamic range isn’t much of an issue in rock – it’s compressed to hell anyway. For classical though (especially small ensemble and vocal) CD is and always was vastly superior to vinyl. Hence why SACD is now doing well in classical sales.

    stumpy01
    Member

    slowoldman

    Subscriber
    Well to be fair dynamic range isn’t much of an issue in rock – it’s compressed to hell anyway.

    It’s not really compression though, it’s just distorted to buggery – like all the levels were turned up too far & it’s clipping; i don’t know the correct terms for it, but it sounds bloody awful & I’ve got no other rock/metal albums that sound like it – the only thing I can relate it to is either when you recorded a cassette & set the levels a bit too high, or when your mate decided to turn his Akai midi-system up to max & neither the amp or the speakers could cope so what came out was just distortion.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Further reading:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

    I never really understood the love for vinyl. I mean, sure, some CDs were very badly produced and records are a Nice Thing and all, playing an album becomes almost a ritual, but I’ve listened to a very high end NAIM system and the notion that it sounds better than a modest CD player is wishful thinking at best. Doubly so to 40-year old ears.

    Do DJs still use vinyl for ‘scratching’ / mixing, or has that died out these days? Not really my bag but that might account for a good chunk of sales if so.

    P-Jay
    Member

    I’m really not surprised, physical media ceased to have a point for me about a decade ago.

    We’ve got one device that can play discs, and that’s the xBox. We moved last month and my Wife offered all the dusty DVDs in the kids rooms on the local free/swap FB group, a couple of nice people came and took them to entertain their Grandkids (of they were con artists who wanted to spend their evenings boxing up DVD to sell to Music Magpie for 3p, I couldn’t care less).

    For me streaming has no downside, you don’t really need data, well unless you want something new right now, and if you absolutely positively need to listen to a song right now, it’s probably easier to find a 4G signal somewhere than a 90s spec HMV.

    People have seem to have decided that Vinyl is the nicest physical media for people who like physical media, I don’t really understand why, but I’m not a very nostalgic person. I have to admit when people start using the word ‘warm’ to describe anything but temperature my eyes glaze over a little, but if they enjoy their Vinyl, good for them, they’re like great big CDs, that require more work to use and cost more.

    The one thing I can’t understand though is Cassettes, cassettes were always terrible, but they worked because you could record on them or play them on portable devices. Why anyone would want to use the hateful little shits I now I don’t know.

    I for one, look forward to when MiniDisc enjoys it’s renaissance, because why not. The hipsters are going to want something leftfield when Cassettes go mainstream.

    P-Jay
    Member

    Do DJs still use vinyl for ‘scratching’ / mixing, or has that died out these days? Not really my bag but that might account for a good chunk of sales if so.

    I’m sure some do, but from what I’ve seen, a lot of ‘Celebrity’ DJs turn up and plug in a USB drive these days, unless they’re Paris Hilton, she has someone do it for her.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Do DJs still use vinyl for ‘scratching’ / mixing, or has that died out these days? Not really my bag but that might account for a good chunk of sales if so.

    DJ’s – No

    Turntablists – yes

    Accidentally saw Craig David’s set on the BBC new years program, laptop, some sort of MIDI keyboard/sequencer/sample pad, and one CDJ used as a controller. He’s still doing it ‘live’, but with that tech he’s probably doing the job of 2 DJ’s with multiple decks and managing to rap/sing over the top.

    Vinyl/turntables is like singlespeeding for DJ’s. You can keep up most of the time, but it’s harder work and most people would do better with gears. and with the proliferation of mp3’s and soundcloud, I imagine the market for short run, white label records has collapsed (c.f. vanity publishing Vs Blogs and Kindle).

    *gives up trying to post a link to a pic of the Sony CDP101*

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Not read thread but if last year 2 CD’s were bought and 3 records, then sales of records is higher. Bit pointless statistic really.

    My car has a CD slot which has never been used.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I think one of the main reason people buy records is because they are sold as Ltd Editions.
    Coloured vinyl, fancy sleeves, the kind of thing that suckers folk into thinking they’re getting something that will increase in value. In a few cases it does, of course, but mostly you’re just buying a pretty “thing”. I’ve bought in the past for this very reason, but I NEVER sell vinyl, so it’s all about the pretty.

    MTB-Idle
    Member

    as if that wasn’t enough, Robbie Williams (yeah, sorry) latest album has seen cassette sales hit a 15 year high.

    Apparently in 2019 there were over 80,000 cassettes bought.

    Who are these people?

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    Thing and all, playing an album becomes almost a ritual

    Amazed that no one has mentioned how skinning up on an album cover is way easier than on a cd case + the music always sounds way betterer too

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Who are these people?

    People commenting on music formats without knowing the different ways music is sold these days.. who are these people?

    ali69er
    Member

    I just bought two cds, someone has to. My cd player in my car just died. Gutted.

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