It’s pretty obvious by looking at sales charts that file sharing and downloading is killing CD sales. For 9 of the last 10 years, CD sales have declined dramatically year after year. However, the silver lining to that cloud isn’t silver at all, but black and round. According to Nielsen SoundScan (via Digital Music News), vinyl sales in 2009 have already crossed two million sold. Last year, they topped out at 1.9 million.
Why the uptick this year? Well, nostalgia definitely plays into it, since anyone that’s about 27 or so on up probably remembers growing up with the format. But credit has to be given to the labels, who have upped the ante on the near-dormant format. Many albums come with digital download codes, so you don’t have to worry about getting a USB turntable to transfer it to your iPod. And the vinyl version Alice In Chains’ Black Gives Way to Blue even comes with a CD of the album. Factor in exclusive songs on some releases, the fact that you’ve got a 12″ version of the album’s artwork, and something that’s way more tangible than an MP3 file, and it begins to make sense. It should be noted that while gaining, vinyl sales are only a fraction of the overall market, as year to date CD sales are at 320 million so far.