While CD sales dropped 20% in 2008, vinyl record sales doubled. Yes, it’s fair to say that this is an apples and oranges comparison, since U.S. vinyl sales came in at just under 2 million while CD sales fell from to 361 million units from 450 million in the same time period.
Still, I was shocked to see my local department store selling turntables and young, new artists on vinyl. It makes sense at a purely human level. Digital music is great. It’s transportable and easy to share. It’s also ethereal in nature.
For the same reason that people like printed books even though what they want to read may be available as an e-book, some people like the feeling of old-fashioned vinyl. These retro-media forms slow our fast-paced lives just a bit. They help us to maintain a thread of connectivity to the past. That connectivity serves as a small anchor in the compressed experience of today’s busy world. Besides all that, the cover art is a lot of fun.