Billboard Pro Spotlight Virtual Event: How Vinyl Got Its Groove Back

A funny thing happened on the way to the streaming-led future of the music business: Vinyl is booming, with annual U.S. sales up 28.7% to $626 million. It still only accounts for 5.2% of U.S. music business revenue, but that’s enough to make it the No. 1-selling format for album sales. Right now, one of the biggest problems needling the vinyl business is finding enough manufacturing capacity. Is this too good to last? The RIAA will provide some perspective on this growth, and panels will explain how the next generation is putting a new spin on an old format, and what physical stores are doing to reinvent themselves for a world where vinyl is more mainstream. Atlantic Records Group chairman & CEO Craig Kallman — who owns a million-plus collection of records himself — will also discuss the past and possible future of vinyl in a keynote interview.

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Sponsor Interview: Call It A Comeback — Vinyl’s Remarkable Resurgence

Fifteen years ago, vinyl was a $36 million business headed nowhere fast. How did it become the top album sales format — and how can it keep growing?

Marcus Cohen, senior vp counterfeit investigations, RIAA
Joshua P. Friedlander, senior vp research and economics, RIAA
Moderated by Robert Levine, deputy editorial director, Billboard

Sonic Youth — How A New Generation Is Moving The Needle On Vinyl Sales

This isn’t your father’s vinyl boom. Sure, Beatles and Bob Marley reissues are selling briskly, but the No. 1 and No. 2 best-selling physical records of 2020 are by Harry Styles and Billie Eilish, the latter of whom has two releases in the top 10. Are these new buyers here to stay — and, if so, how do labels and stores need to adjust?

Maxwell Dartey, A&R urban catalog, Universal Music Enterprises
Carl Mello, brand engagement director, Newbury Comics
Becky Wilson, director of talent partnerships, NTWRK
Moderated by Lyndsey Havens, senior editor, Billboard

Keynote Interview: Atlantic Records Group Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman

Kallman began collecting records as a young DJ, and he has now amassed one of the largest collections of vinyl in the world. He’ll share his uniquely expert perspective on the format’s past and future, as well as some of the records in his collection.

Craig Kallman, chairman & CEO, Atlantic Records Group
Moderated by Robert Levine, deputy editorial director, Billboard

What’s In Store: The Post-Pandemic Future Of Physical Retail

Record sales boomed during the pandemic — but what about record stores? Many entered the online mail-order business, with encouraging success. And there are some signs that consumers are lining up to return to brick-and-mortar shops — although figuring out when and how many presents its own challenges.

Carrie Colliton, director of marketing, Dept. of Record Stores; co-founder, Record Store Day
Billy Fields, vp account management/vinyl strategist, WEA
George Flanagan, store manager, Rough Trade NYC
Jocelynn Pryor, vp marketing, AMPED Distribution
Moderated by Robert Levine, deputy editorial director, Billboard