Vinyl Gets Its Groove Back
January 11, 2008 at 5:43 AM (PT)
From college dorm rooms to high school sleepovers, an all-but-extinct music medium has been showing up lately, writes TIME.COM. And we don't mean CDs. Vinyl records, especially the full-length LPs that helped define the golden era of rock in the 1960s and '70s, are suddenly cool again. Some of the new fans are baby boomers nostalgic for their youth. But to the surprise and delight of music executives, increasing numbers of the iPOD generation are also purchasing turntables (or dusting off dads'), buying long-playing vinyl records and giving them a spin.
It's not a significant part of our business, but there is enough there for me to take someone and have half their time devoted to making vinyl a real business,
Like the comeback of PUMA sneakers or vintage T shirts, vinyl's resurgence has benefited from its retro-rock aura. Many young listeners discovered LPs after they rifled through their parents' collections looking for oldies and found that they liked the warmer sound quality of records, the more elaborate album covers and liner notes that come with them, and the experience of putting one on and sharing it with friends, as opposed to plugging in some earbuds and listening alone.
The music industry, hoping to find another revenue source that doesn't easily lend itself to illegal downloads, has happily jumped on the bandwagon. Contemporary artists like THE KILLERS and RYAN ADAMS have begun issuing their new releases on vinyl in addition to the CD and mp3 formats. As an extra lure, many labels are including coupons for free audio downloads with their vinyl albums so that Generation Y music fans can get the best of both worlds: high-quality sound at home and iPOD portability for the road. Also, vinyl's different shapes (hearts, triangles) and eye-catching designs (bright colors, sparkles) are created to appeal to a younger audience. While new records sell for about $14, used LPs go for as little as a penny -- perfect for a teenager's budget -- or as much as $2,400 for a collectible, autographed copy of BECK's "Steve Threw Up."
"It's not a significant part of our business, but there is enough there for me to take someone and have half their time devoted to making vinyl a real business," says WEA Pres./CEO JOHN ESPOSITO.
Check out the full article here.