According to Digital Music News, vinyl record sales are up 41% over the first half of 2011. This follows a reported 14% growth rate for the year 2010. I've expressed pretty deep skepticism about the sustainability of the so-called vinyl revival, so it's interesting to see vinyl sales have not yet reached any kind of plateau.
It's hard for me to know exactly where this growth is coming from.
I have a few friends who, like me, buy vinyl records. But none of us ever ditched our turntables or stopped buying vinyl records, so I doubt we are contributing to any serious growth. Also, we mostly buy used records with a smattering of new releases mixed in. And any of the stories you see about sales growth for vinyl records, of course, only relate to new LP sales. But most people I know have no idea that you can buy vinyl records of new releases in the year 2011.
Sometimes I'll talk to someone who will say something like "I'd like to get a turntable again," but they don't seem particularly serious about it. When they say it, it sounds like some vague but unobtainable ambition, like saying "One of these days I'd really like to sail around the world in a Sunfish."
So maybe it really is the young whippersnappers fueling this growth?