My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How 17 million vinyl records purchased in 2015 were Millennials in support of Musician Album Art

Monday, May 30, 2016

How 17 million vinyl records purchased in 2015 were Millennials in support of Musician Album Art

Vinyl is on the rise as a physical music format even while sales of Music CD's, DVD's and Digital Downloads are falling like a stone since 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “RIAA says Streaming beating CD Sales  - Why HD Audio Physical Digital Music comeback progresses as Piracy is the Problem”.

However, Streaming is the main means of consuming music, mainly via streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, now over 10 million paid subscribers strong as noted in my blog article entitled “How Apple Music's 10 million paid subscribers will eclipse Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music and Google Play Music by December 2016”.

So a poll done by ICM Unlimited research revealed that, surprisingly, a significant reason for these vinyl purchases was due to the influence of the dominant streaming services as explained in the article “Streaming Drives Vinyl Sales, Not Necessarily Vinyl Listening”, published April 14, 2016 By Parker Hall, Digitaltrends.

So how significant is vinyl sales to musicians?

RIAA Stats on Vinyl sales - 17 million vinyl records framed by Millennials without turntables

According to the RIAA, 17 million vinyl records were purchased in 2015. Based on the poll done by ICM Unlimited research:

1.      52% of those polled had a vinyl record player
2.      48% who had purchased a vinyl record in March 2016 had never had it played
3.      7% of those vinyl purchasers didn't own a turntable

This explains why in the US of A, many Millennials simply have their vinyl's framed instead of playing them. They regard them as artwork, rather than as a practical music format; after all, you can't carry a vinyl player on your back on play it in your car, given the convenience of streaming as pointed out by Manchester student named Jordan Katende to the BBC: “I have vinyls in my room but it’s more for decor. I don’t actually play them”. 

And investing in a Vinyl turntable complete with speakers isn't gonna happen; they're just too expensive compared to just having a good pair of headphones, a smartphone or a HD Audio Player such as the FiiO X3 2nd Gen Music Player as described in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “US$200 FiiO X3 2nd Gen Music Player is HD Music on a Budget”.  

So why are millennials stocking up on Vinyl?

ICM Unlimited research on Vinyl phenomenon - Millennials see Vinyl as painting of a Musicians’ art

For many Millennials, it’s mainly about supporting the artist and expressing their appreciation for the artwork.

This is often resplendent in the detailed artwork on the cardboard album covers of a vinyl LP as pointed out by 18 y-o British student named Helena, quote: “I also think it’s important to support artists financially if you can. I like it if someone puts eort into making a release look special”.

The support is indeed welcome; many artiste barely make bank from streaming. Ironically, vinyl, an outdated music format, seems to be filling that gap as evidenced from the popularity of Taylor Swift's Vinyl version of her album 1989 as per my blog article entitled “Taylor Swift and Vinyl – Why Female Hipsters diggin’ her New Groove as Vinyl Sales Rise”.

Truth be told, it’s also an indication of how broken the Streaming model is if vinyl sales are making more money than ad-based music streaming as pointed out in the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) report for 2015 in the article “Vinyl Sales Eclipsed Every Ad­based Streamer In 2015”, published March 23, 2016 by Parker Hall, Digitaltrends.

Serious vinyl collectors can pay hundreds of dollars to purchase what they consider to be an artform from a bygone era rather than a practical music format. Streaming isn’t making money; it’s fuelling music discovery for vinly-philic music collectors with a sense of nostalgia and a desire to own a piece of the musicians’ legacy.

I suspect in the distant future, the same might happen to CD's and DVD's when quartz crystal storage makes it possible to store all of YouTube music and videos in a single crystal as predicted in my blog article entitled “University of Southampton and Eindhoven's University write and read Data to Quartz Crystal - Eternal Storage borrowed from Superman Man of Steel”.

But the verdict is clear; Music streaming is killing the Music Industry as Millennials now regard vinyl records as an art form.  To preserve the musical history, they collecting and framing vinyl records in much the same way you’d buy a painting.

No comments: