Picture from NYC24.org
Picture from NYC24.org

This is news we like to hear at GFM. Computer World reports that vinyl record sales were the highest in 2008 since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan started measuring music sales.  Nearly 2 million (1.88 million to be precise) records were sold in the states this year, and the number is expected to keep on growing in 2009.

A lot of that is thanks to the Internet, where online record sales have more than doubled; vinyls are gaining more market share as CD sales continue plummet. Who’d have thunk?!

“There’s nothing like a vinyl record. It’s analog. It sounds as close as you’re going to get to the artist.” – Steven Sheldon, president of Rainbo Records

Gotta agree with that — music on vinyl is warm and fills a room the way an iPod hooked up to speakers can’t even attempt.  I’ve got a ton of new music on vinyl, too, because I just prefer it for my favorite artists; I just picked up Mariah Carey’s new album E=MC2 at the Sound Garden in Baltimore (after an 8-month long hunt).  And when I get the chance, I rip my old vinyls to mp3 — it’s not the same as the real thing, but better than a download or a CD rip by far.

The best news? It’s mostly younger people that are flocking to analog. Where those who grew up on vinyl records probably never gave up their prized record collection, millenials were raised on “virtual worlds” — digital music, video games, and the like. They’re used to downloading music, stripped to its lowest common denominator and packing as much as they can onto the smallest iPod they can find — and starting to realize they may be missing something. They’re falling in love with the 12-inch for its incomparable sound quality and the tangibility it brings with beautiful cover art. And that, my friends, is what I call bridging the gap!

Oh, and if you’re looking for something to play all your new records on, we have a suggestion for you.