Why the Vinyl Boom is Over - WSJ

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by seaisletim, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Philadelphia PA
    Why Vinyl’s Boom Is Over

    Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that touches upon many of the concerns brought up daily in this here forum.
    danielbravo and sgb like this.
  2. pghmusiclover

    pghmusiclover Forum Resident

    It's Groundhog Day! For the record I can't read it as I don't have a subscription to the WSJ...

  3. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Philadelphia PA
    I didn't realize its subscription access only.. let me see if I can open this up
  4. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    New Mexico USA
    Yes, I could only see the headlines, illo, and opening sentences, but my impression/guess is that it captures the historical narrative I've been following over the years here at the forum:

    There is no vinyl boom, it's a fad.

    It's a passing fad of surprising longevity, but it's still a dumb fad.

    The passing fad is proving so popular that it's driving a global expansion in vinyl pressing capacity.

    Something something hipsters.

    Meanwhile, however, the struggle to meet the demand created by the passing fad is creating quality control problems and production delays as retooling lags.

    Poor quality control, delays, and digital sourcing are killing the fad, which we can now acknowledge has in fact been a vinyl boom now that it's fading due to negative factors caused by sustained excessive popularity.
  5. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Philadelphia PA
    Haha not really. No. It does spend time talking about digital sourcing but I don't believe 'hipsters' came up
  6. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I couldn't read it either- no subscription. The text in the teaser addressed digital to vinyl and QC.
    Do you think that means people are going to start dumping rare Vertigo Swirls and obscure UK (or European) prog and post-psych records for cheap? That EMT 927s will be virtually given away? Joking, obviously.
    Quality control has always been an issue in my estimation.
    And fad or not, the resurgence hasn't just focused on the entry level-- there are more tonearms, step up transformers, phono stages, cartridges, alignment devices (and information about how to use them) than existed during "peak vinyl." If the "fad" aspect causes a dramatic decline in the sales of newly pressed vinyl, most of us are in no worse position than before: tons of used records, some important records will continue to be reissued/remastered by "audiophile" operations (though in my estimation, not enough obscure releases, for obvious business reasons). I usually don't find what I am looking for in brick and mortar stores (and there are plenty in Austin), so though I try to support them when I can, I don't think the re-death of vinyl (TM) is going to have much impact on me. I doubt I'm alone in this view.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
    zongo, Matt Starr, AidanB and 6 others like this.
  7. jon9091

    jon9091 Master Of Reality

    I couldn't read it either, but it goes against every other article I've read lately about the projected $1 billion sales of vinyl this year, and Sony reopening their vinyl presses, etc. Whatever, I'd be thrilled if everyone would start selling off their records....please?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
    jmczaja, Octowen, Matt Starr and 13 others like this.
  8. Where are you Simon

    Where are you Simon Well-Known Member

    What gets up my nose is the years of 180g and 200g vinyl hype :realmad:
    No need whats so ever for these heavyweight pressings.
    Its these LPs that are the major cause of warping and exceptionally bad quality control from pressing plants around the world over the last ten years or so.
    I have wanted Yello to bring out a new 180g/200g vinyl version of Baby for years?
    Even a 45rpm half speed double LP version ?
    I would buy them just so i could show friends how the original very thin vinyl LP SQ still blows them away.:edthumbs:
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  9. Glenpwood

    Glenpwood Hyperactive!

    I can only see the headline and opening as well but if it covers the typical points about poor pressings and digital sourcing the honest answer is that artists and those of us who seek out this forum to compare best pressings may care but the average person on the street doesn't. If they did, Crossley's wouldn't be the dominant entry level turntable and scratched to hell records that should never see a needle again wouldn't be snapped up at thrift shops. The average Joe isn't as anal retentive about these things as the collectors/audiophiles are. If they were, folks would have risen up back in the seventies when a lot of the labels started using cheaper or recycled vinyl. I suppose to a point they did by switching to CD's and tapes but a lot of that was more about industry greed by pressuring folks to rebuy their entire collections again on formats that were just as prone to inferior masterings or breakage/scratching as records were. Vinyl is never gonna dominate the public again but its found its niche audience and should main its presence just fine - even if some of the reissues come from dubious sources...
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
    Vinyl Dude, AidanB, Mr.Sean and 7 others like this.
  10. stetsonic

    stetsonic Forum Resident

    Ditto that. I deeply miss those turn of the century vinyl bargains.
    polchik, AidanB, Mr.Sean and 4 others like this.
  11. Blue Gecko

    Blue Gecko Forum Resident

    Hmmm... low quality, high prices... seems similar to what happened with CDs and the loudness wars. Go figure...
    danielbravo likes this.
  12. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example

    I think that by the time the big dumb mega-corps like Sony get around to trying to exploit a grass-roots phenomenon, the corner has been turned. Likely the second time Sony will have had a hand in crushing vinyl. This kinda reminds me of when the fashion houses started churning out flannel in a doomed -to - fail attempt to cash in on grunge.

    AidanB, Mr.Sean, footlooseman and 5 others like this.
  13. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Sounds like the same old bollocks about digital files and $40 records that people are always whining about. Whatever. I'll be over here listening again to the great new LP by Japanese Breakfast that sounds amazing on my not-a-Crosley system and cost all of $16.
  14. OldSoul

    OldSoul Well, I'm a lonesome schoolboy...

    Oberlin, OH
    Fine with me. Maybe I'd be able to go to a record store and actually browse cheap, used records again, instead of being presented with a bunch of $30 reissues. :agree:
  15. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Move to a city that has decent used record stores. The two that are five minutes' walk from me sell no new records and probably 80 percent of the stock at each is under $10.
  16. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    Welp. Pack it up folks. It was fun while it lasted. :tiphat:
  17. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Fort worth tx
    I've been reading articles and headlines that basically say the same thing for the last five years. It doesn't look like vinyl sales are slowing down to me.
  18. Where are you Simon

    Where are you Simon Well-Known Member

    I hate that word vinyls :realmad:
    If anyone wants to dump their LPs and Singles ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2017
    David Ellis, keyse1 and andybeau like this.
  19. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Oh, this is just great.

    I finally buy a new album after last listening to vinyl/albums in 1989 via Flowers In The Dirt.

    And purchase, on May 28th, 2017, a 2014 mono vinyl Sgt. Pepper's that I'm still waiting for.

    And now you tell me the vinyl boom is over?

    Per the New and Improved Wall Street Journal?

    I would cancel my order...but then I think they would charge me for shipping that other item that I ordered with the album, to put it over 25 dollars.

    Since the album cost 23.08.

    No, I will NEVER cancel my order.

    But when I get the 2014 Sgt. Pepper's, I won't open it.

    Because the boom is over.
  20. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Nothing like analog.

    Except for recording digital "instruments".

    Then digital is probably best.
  21. seaisletim

    seaisletim Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Philadelphia PA
    2% growth in 2017 is a pretty good signal that a plateau is on the horizon
    eddiel and Lucca90 like this.
  22. knob twirler

    knob twirler Forum Resident

    Chapel Hill, NC
    I picked my forum handle years ago from a Keith Richards interview regarding clueless young producers. I think I'm going to change it now to 'Something Something Hipster.' Thanks.
  23. forthlin

    forthlin Forum Resident

    Like when your parent/grandparents start using contemporary slang?;)
    AidanB and Diamond Dog like this.
  24. Sid Hartha

    Sid Hartha Well-Known Member

    The Midwest
    havenz and e.s. like this.
  25. Gramps Tom

    Gramps Tom Forum Resident

    Another economic fact of life playing out within this context:

    1-There is a business model which supports being known by the customers as a top-quality provider. Their customers will be supportive and loyal. These suppliers should NOT take short cuts nor skimp on quality issues.

    2-There is another business model which supports being known as a low-cost provider. Their customers tend to be less supportive and loyal, and will (in general behavioral terms) switch toward a lower-cost provider if one enters the market niche.

    3-The DMZ is the middle ground, where a business entity is NOT perceived as either quality nor price-friendly (CHEAP) provider. That is a dangerous place to be, and those middle-ground entities tend to go away after trends slow.

    In order to thrive, the business has to be relevant in the marketplace:

    1-Go further than simply MEETING expectations. The quality provider must provide such an experience to their customers, that they will not only return, but also actively and enthusiastically recruit more client-customers. That is loyalty, and will sustain a business.

    2-The business must be accessible. Physically (web, physical bldg., etc.), economically (customer must perceive value in the buying/usage experience).

    Bringing these basic concepts into our vinyl-audiophile discussion, it seems to me the thirst for excellence in home based music reproduction will continue for as long as humans live. That quest is sought be each person in their own manner and economic level.

    Regarding the article (which is excellent, IMO), it's restating an economic/marketing fact of life:

    Top-quality DOES matter to those customer who celebrate the difference, are willing to invest to get it, and are more than satisfied.

    If, however, the business providers begin cheapening and taking short cuts to quality products, (the digitally sourced analog records referenced in the article as only 1 small example), THAT, my friends, will definitely slow the newly mfg vinyl expansion. Will never kill it off, but may trend to another vinyl Ice Age.

    I've experienced some QC issues on newly mfg vinyl, and I've also been blown away by some newly mfg records bought right here in this Forums' Classified from some of the greatest sellers (friends).

    In my mind and wallet, I pray the manufacturers strive to put out the best quality sonic and visual (let us not forget the album art issues, too) possible in as pure an analog chain as possible sourced through the finest equipment available.

    If some companies insist on using cheaper sources and mfg chain, so be it, but then disclose same properly and charge appropriately. The marketplace determines who lives.......

    My view this BEAUTIFUL Twin-Town Saturday morning. Going to see Mary Chapin Carpenter LIVE next Sat here in the Minnesota Zoo's beautiful outdoor concert venue, within walking distance.

    All the best,
    AidanB, MyNameIsNotSteve, DPM and 4 others like this.

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