Friday, August 30, 2013

Vinyl Experience(3) Vinyl sales are 5 times in six years

Text:Fumimasa Hori

You could say the United States is the world greatest music power.
The music sales which united the right income by musical secondary use with the charged 
music distribution which includes download and streaming service and physical media such
as CDs, vinyl was the world's No.1 in the 2012 fiscal year.

How much popularity of records are there in such a situation?Let's look at the specific numbers.  
The following is a graph showing the sales of LP in the United States.

                                                            (Source:Digital Music News)

As can be seen if you have look at the graph, vinyl sales were only 300,000 in 1993.It has continued to 
increase gradually, and extends up to 150 million units in '00. However, it has descended gradually from
 there and will fall even in 900,000 units in '05.

When it is around 07-08,the situation was turned around.Since '07 vinyl sales has certainly continued
 to rise every year, has reached to 4.6 million units in '12.Vinyl sales number  has been increased
 5 times  over six years from '06.

And, popularity has not stopped today. Vice President David Bakula of Nielsen Soundscan
Inc. projects vinyl sales will be 5.5 million copies in 2013.Although vinyl sales has increased
at the high pace in the past several years, what scale is occupied in the whole music sales 
sure enough?

The total sales of an album including digital one is 450 million copies in the 2012 fiscal year, among
those sales of LP are 4,6million copies.That is, the sales of  LP are about only 1% of scale of the whole 
album sales including digital one.Judging from this figure, it is undeniable that vinyl are still 
niche media.However, there is also a theory of actual  sales is much larger than the number  
that appears on the data.

There is a possibility that the actual sales of LP in USA is about seven times from the data 
of Nielsen Soundscan.President Vince Slusarz of Gotta Grooves,record pressing plant in Cleveland 
said  in an interview by NY Times, among the record total salesNielsen Soundscan, Inc. 
did not only measured only 15%.Nielsen Soundscan has counted only records with bar code
but he said bar codes were not attached to most of vinyl that are pressed at Gotta Grooves.

The U-T Sandiego paper of San Diego also has the following indication.
Hereinafter, quotation.

 That's only about 1 percent of all U.S. music sales, as Nielson measures it through bar code 
sales and the major record labels.But vinyl aficionados say the format has a bigger,overlooked following 
among the thousands of bands that don't have a label or a distributor, and their fans.
(end of quote)

Also from this article,you can understand Nielsen Soundscan’s data does not reflect
only a part of the actual situation.Because Nielsen Soundscan measures only new albums
they exclude data of used vinyl sales that may account for a major portion of the record  

CEO Eric Astor of record pressing prant Furnace Manifacturing also thinks the number of
vinyl sales are reported too little. According to Eric, records of 1215 million copies are 
pressed in the United States every year, and at least his factory pressed 3 million copies
last year.

It does not matter you keep data of vinyl sales from Nielsen SoundScan as reference.
But if you accepted all without question, the actual condition of the record popularity of
the United States in recent years cannot be caught correctly.At least, probably,
LP will be certain to sell rather than the scale of 4.6million copies.

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