iPod Phono: 10 Songs on Your Coffee Table
Turns out the long-playing (LP) record album may not be as much of an anachronism as once thought. As CD sales slip into the mud, and digital music outlets pop up on the Web as quickly as Starbucks stores, vinyl is staging a comeback. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl LP shipments spiked 36% from 2006 to 2007, to 1.3 million units. CD shipments dropped 17.5% during the same 2006-07 period, to 511 million.
Now, given the vast discrepancy between LP and CD units shipped in the past year, it’s entirely unlikely vinyl will ever claim a significant share of the music market–unless Apple (AAPL), for some reason, develops the iPod Phono. But it may well remain a niche market for some time to come thanks to audiophiles who prefer the LP “experience” and its so-called truer sound.
And so today Best Buy (BBY) is testing vinyl sales at some of its stores, as is retailer Fred Meyer (KR). “It’s not just a nostalgia thing,” said Melinda Merrill, spokeswoman for Fred Meyer. “The response from customers has just been that they like it, they feel like it has a better sound.”