By Michael Traill
It has been decades since vinyl records dominated the music charts, but now the 12-inch is back in style.
The sale of vinyl albums has more than doubled in just two years, between 2014 – 2016, according to the Australia Recording Industry Association (ARIA).
ARIA estimates the trend generated more than $15 million annually, and is slowly becoming a vital cornerstone for the industry.
Fremantle’s iconic Mills Records says the increasing demand for Vinyl has lead to the sale of albums they thought would never leave the shelves.
“Over the last few years it’s just been a steep curve (of vinyl sales), It wasn’t a gradual thing, vinyl just came back in and it’s been selling ever since,” staff member Simon Fraser said.
“People are fans again, they go ‘I really like that record I want to have it on for when my friends come over for a beer or whatever so I can show it to them, put it on, flip it over and do the whole ritual of it.”
ARIA found that online streaming is the only other form of sales making gains in the industry with both digital downloads and CD sales seeing the loss of over $25 million annually between 2014 – 2016.
Vinyl is also starting find its way back into Australia’s live contemporary music scene, which is estimated to generate over $1.5 billion for the economy annually according to Ernst & Young research conducted in 2015.
“DJs are also buying vinyl again, they’ll come in go through 50 records and buy 20” Mr Fraser said.
“Second hand records that we thought we’d never ever sell again like 90’s trance music and old 70s disco, they’ll get added to their sets, (live music) venues are asking for DJs that use vinyl”.
A Perth ‘collector’ claims he can make over $1000 a day selling limited release albums that have gone out of stock on record label’s websites.
“I can sell vinyls anywhere from $200 to $350 depending on the demand for the band and what the pressing is,”
“I pay say $40 each for a limited addition skin of an album which might only get 2000 pressings and then sell 5 or 6 copies of it online to suckers willing to pay hundreds; I wouldn’t pay that much for something I could listen to online for free but some people can’t seem to get enough”.