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Monday, July 20, 2009

Vinyl and Print: Parallel Cases?

TechDirt writes:

One of the more interesting trends in the music world is the “return” of the vinyl LP. While sales of CD’s continue to fall in the face of digital downloads, vinyl LP sales continue to rise:

Consumers purchased 1.88 million new vinyl LPs in 2008, an 89 percent increase over 2007 and the highest sales volume recorded in the 17-year history of Nielsen SoundScan. Further, in good news for some physical retailers, two out of three vinyls LPs were purchased at independent record stores.

There are a number of reasons for this, but the most obvious is that the LP is a tangible object that can’t be easily reproduced and can only be shared through a physical, real-world exchange. For true fans, the LP is a sort of badge of fandom, proof of just how much you love the band. Compared to a digital download or a CD, the LP is a crafted thing, complete with large-scale artwork and often other inserts.

While it isn’t likely that LP sales will eclipse digital downloads anytime soon, it is also highly unlikely that the LP market will be undercut by piracy.

Could these same factors be a forecaster for the future of printed books and newspapers? It is hard to imagine that these items, so easily digitized, will be able to maintain their current position on top of the mountain and we are already seeing the rapid decline of the newspaper business.

In the cases of both newspapers and books, it might be that their only hope in surviving over the long-term is to invest in elements that can truly not be pirated.

link: Can Print Be The Next Vinyl? | Techdirt


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