Crashing the golden egg
January 15, 2023

Ted Gioia: Did the music business just kill the vinyl revival?

Despite all the hype, vinyl album unit sales only grew 4% in 2022, after a 95% growth in 2021. Those numbers are a HUGE disappointment - Ted Gioia argues. This is what the music industry did, according to his opinion, to cause it:

  • They hate running factories—which is hard work. So they tried to outsource manufacturing instead of building it themselves. Chronic shortages resulted.
  • They refuse to spend money on R&D, so they stayed with the same vinyl technology from the 1950s... In the year 2023, even bowling alleys, bordellos, and bookies are more tech savvy than the major record labels.
  • They want easy money, so they kept prices extremely high. That was bizarre because their R&D and catalog acquisition costs were essentially zero, and they could have priced vinyl aggressively. Instead they treated vinyl as a luxury product.
  • They love hype, so they focused on high visibility vinyl reissues, which look good in press releases, but couldn’t be bothered to make back catalog albums available. After a decade of the vinyl revival, they still hadn’t taken even basic steps in offering a wide product line.