Bottlenecked production. Delayed deliveries. Worn-out machinery with impossible-to-replace parts and a dearth of qualified workers to maintain them. Lost revenues. Rising prices. Empty store racks and frustrated consumers. For the music industry in 2016, this is what counts as a success story.
As revenue from music sales has plummeted over the past 15 years, vinyl has come to represent the industry’s Jon Snow—the tenacious little bugger that just won’t die, and has actually emerged from the digital age bloodbath with renewed vigor. Last year, vinyl sales reached their highest level since the late-80s as the format continues to be re-embraced as a tangible retort to the clouding of our collections. While still comprising a sliver of the overall music industry pie, the sector has experienced steady growth since 2007, and increasingly, is one of the few figures on a record company balance sheet that isn’t itemized in parentheses.