Right round baby right round…
The first Record Store Day was celebrated in 2008, for the purpose of drawing attention to independent record stores. What wound up happening was a massive resurgence of vinyl.
More than 3.2 million LPs were sold last year, a rise of 53% on the year before and a 25-year high. The death of many music giants was a large driver for this.
Music streaming has increased 500% since 2013, positioning itself as a new method of music discovery — replacing radio. As streaming trends, vinyl does too, becoming a path back to tangibly own and share music.
…so what’s up with vinyl making a comeback?
Technology Follows a Pattern
Technology follows a repeating pattern:
- We started with mainframe based centralized computing
- Everyone moved to distributed computing when the technology evolved to support it (windows PCs, LANs, logs of windows servers all over the place)
- Then, we cycled back to central with virtualization and consolidation of private data centers
- Next, mobile phones pulled software back into a distributed model
- Now cloud is re-centralizing and consolidating by providing virtual apps and virtual desktops, such that seemingly distributed computing is actually running more of its workload ‘on the grid’ or in the cloud.
You get the point.
Everything is cyclical.
Vinyl started to disappear when Walkmans became popular. CDs became all the rage until you could buy MP3s online. Now that streaming has eradicated MP3s, people are looking for new ways to own music. This is now being embodied in vinyl.
Are we going to start seeing people collecting cassettes next?
Or boycotting Apple’s Airpods with Walkmans?
There is a very specific culture surrounding vinyl and its distribution that had aided to the recent growth of the market.
Like Record Store Day intended to do, the whole culture surrounding vinyl is aimed at supporting small, local businesses. While you can buy records online, there’s an experience surrounding going to a record store and digging for records in dusty bins.
CDs are made by the thousands and you can get them anywhere. There’s something special about buying a vinyl when you know only 1000 others exist just like it, especially when you stumble across it in an old bin at your favorite store. There is a satisfaction that comes with exclusivity.
Pretty much every new LP comes with a digital download code now a days, which means you can jam your favorite album on your phone or your laptop, for times when you can’t pull out the turntable.
This is more favorable than simply purchasing the MP3 for many, as it provides a physical gratification — it is far more satisfying to be able to hold something you purchase.
Technology is cyclical — expect old trends to continue to resurface in new ways. There is a culture and community built around vinyl, if you haven’t experienced it, go hang around a local record store on a Saturday afternoon. More specifically, go support a local business this Record Store Day! (4/22)
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About Leeward Business Advisors
Leeward Business Advisors is a Wisconsin-based corporation that provides business strategy planning, business improvement implementation, and full IT operational support. They offer world class Cloud Computing services, Cloud brokerage, Managed IT services, and a full US based Support Service Desk (called Quick Answers). Michael Polzin, CEO has 20+ years of enterprise business and technology experience gained while working at Allstate Insurance and Microsoft Corporation. Jason Klein, CTO has 15+ years delivering effective and efficient technology to Midwest companies.