The sale of vinyl records is on the rise. But why would anyone want to buy something that can't be easily popped into your car stereo, or placed in your computer to burn to your iPod? Well, apparently, people don't care about those things, or they're finding ways to transfer their vinyl collection to a digital format, and the numbers are there to prove it. According to Nielsen SoundScan, vinyl LP sales reached 1.88 million units in 2008 -- an 89 percent increase from 2007.
Best Buy is smart, and is jumping right into vinyl sales. According to a New York Post article, Best Buy is the third largest music retailer, after Apple's iTunes, and Wal-Mart. Best Buy tested the vinyl sales at 100 of its stores nationwide, and the results proved to be successful.
CD sales have been steadily declining each year with the rise of digital downloads, and although vinyl sales will not make up for the loss from CD neglect, it will at least help. On average, a CD costs $13.99, whereas a vinyl LP costs around $22.95.
Many of the major record labels have taken notice of the rise in vinyl interest and have done what record collectors do best: sifted through the crates to find the best record. Some companies have found their best-selling records in their catalogs and are re-releasing remastered versions of the albums with the original artwork and packaging.
In September 2008, for example, EMI released "From the Capitol Vaults," which includes albums such as the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds," Radiohead's "OK Computer," and Jimi Hendrix's "Band of Gypsies."
Best Buy is said to be considering using as much as eight square feet in each of its 1,020 stores for vinyl. Smaller record stores might be concerned that this might take away from their business, but I doubt Best Buy will be selling the rare gems you stumble upon while digging around in the crates. They'll most likely be selling classic albums, like the ones mentioned above.
We'll be sure to update you with more news about when you can shop the vinyl section of your neighborhood Best Buy. Viva la vinyl.