Vinyl’s resurgence is no secret. Sales are up 33% through July 15 after an 18% gain in 2012, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But less well-known are the high costs and the challenges in manufacturing and distributing vinyl records.
?There’s a long list of great things about vinyl. The vinyl record has brought back the enjoyment of collecting physical copies of music in a time when most music is either downloaded or streamed. The success of Record Store Day can be attributed in part to vinyl’s analog characteristics: RSD special titles are limited, and the product and packaging can be memorable. Vinyl has helped sustain independent retail. In fact, some stores carry nothing but that format.
?The resurgence is apparent in some recent sales numbers. Daft Punk’s "Random Access Memories" moved 33,000 LPs, or 5% of its album copies, in its first eight weeks. Vampire Weekend’s "Modern Vampires of the City" sold 21,000 LPs, or 7% of its copies, in nine weeks.