Audio News for October 7, 2008

by | Oct 7, 2008 | Audio News | 0 comments

Vinyl Records’ Increased Sales – The Vinyl Renaissance is finally beginning to get some coverage in the national press – such illustrious rags as the New York Times, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal have written up the revival of the long-playing format that had been thought obsolete in this digital age.  The main stimulus is due to hard facts finally being accessible from the RIAA, even though they completely miss the huge sales of used vinyl online and by mail order. The RIAA says that LP sales were 36.6 % higher in 2007 than in 2006, with about 1.3 million units being sold at retailers (vs. 511 million CDs the same period). Worldwide sales of LPs doubled in 2007 – from three million to six million units – after hitting an all-time low in 2006. Global sales of CDs dropped 12% in the same period.

Audiophile remastering specialists such as Speakers Corner, Pure Pleasure, Classic Records, and Acoustic Sounds got things rolling, but the real action in vinyl is going on in the used market.  Now major labels such as BlueNote/EMI are introducing LPs again.  Sales of turntables increased more than 80% from 2006 to 2007 and continue to rise. Young people who had never before experienced music from a vinyl record are buying turntables and their vinyl collections are competing with their music downloads. Vinyl has an innate value for them, as a physical object.  Then there is the graphics appeal of the 12-inch packages, and the warmer and richer sonic quality compared to digital downloads – even with entry level turntables.

Style and Functionality Uppermost in Audio Sales
– A new survey from analyst firm MPD Group finds that price is not the most determining factor in a home entertainment item purchase.  Over 70% of buyers place more importance on utility and close to 60% place it on aesthetics over cost of the item.  Cost was a factor at 53%, but not the driving reason for decisions.  Even as spending is cut back in other areas due to the current financial situation, people tend to seek out consumer electronics that accentuate their lifestyle and match their personal taste, despite the cost. Financial Times reports that spending on big-ticket consumer electronics rose 4.8% in July 2008 while other areas declined.  Although consumers are not buying as many consumer electronic items, they are paying a higher price for those they do purchase, and they are selecting items offering a wider variety of features than in previous years.

Rocky Mt. Audio Show Runs Oct. 10-12 – Denver’s Marriott Tech center Hotel and Hyatt Regency Tech Center will be the venues for this year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.  Complete audio systems will be set up by makers and distributors in over 160 rooms on six floors of the Marriott plus ten seminar rooms at the Hyatt – more than can  be heard and seen in one day.  Many of the exhibitors encourage visitors to bring their own favorite CDs or vinyl to audition.  Equipment types range from affordable separates to ultra-high-end audio systems.  Unlike the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Rocky Mt. Audio Fest concentrates on home audio, with some home theater.  For more information:

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