Has the vinyl bubble burst for Canadians? It might have.

[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

My regular record dealer was over at the house the other day looking to buy some vinyl I didn’t need anymore.

“It’s over, man,” he said. “It was a really good run, but the whole vinyl thing is over. Yeah, COVID has been a problem, but there’s more to it. It’s the labels.

“They got greedy. Have you seen what they’re charging for a new record? Some single discs selling for $40! Insane. That’s gouging. No wonder sales have dropped.”

Not just dropped but cratered.

After nearly a decade and a half of astonishing double-digit growth, sales of new vinyl in Canada have been in freefall for months. According to MRC/Nielsen figures, fewer than 400,000 pieces of new vinyl have been sold in stores throughout Canada so far this year, a drop of over 26 per cent from this point in 2019.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

8 thoughts on “Has the vinyl bubble burst for Canadians? It might have.

  • August 31, 2020 at 8:19 am
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    I’m sitting at around 1,000 albums, and an equal number of CDs. I’m done with new vinyl. I can’t justify the price of an album when most downloads are 1/4 the price.

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  • August 31, 2020 at 10:09 am
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    For me – the vinyl bubble burst as soon as the first 40 dollar record started showing up in Calgary back in like 2015. But much bigger for me is the fact that 99.9% of all new vinyl is created using the standard CD master anyway. Why would I want to have a (generally) butchered, non-dynamic, volume heavy CD master of a current album pressed to a piece a vinyl so I can pay 4 times as much for it? Makes no sense at all.

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  • August 31, 2020 at 10:28 am
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    I still collect vinyl. I’m fine paying $20-$25 but most of the new releases are over $35 and so unless it’s a piece I MUST HAVE I’ll just listen on my streaming service. Really wanted the new Lana Del Rey but it was $52 plus tax! Used to buy 5 a month, now it’s 1. It’s just too expensive for Most new vinyl. I do like that a lot of Canadian bands price their vinyl at under $25. I’m more inclined to add it to my library at that price point.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2020 at 8:05 am
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    I’ll chime in with the same comments…the price got me out of the vinyl business. I have also been buying cds forever and even those are creeping north of $20.

    Reply
  • Pingback: Online vinyl sales have gone through the roof since the pandemic started - A Journal of Musical Things

  • September 2, 2020 at 5:29 pm
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    Question: does the fact that vinyl is now even harder to put out with one of the two mastering plants left in the burnt down recently have anything to do with all this?

    Reply
  • September 3, 2020 at 7:57 am
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    They can have all the used vinyl they want at $5 a slice, and really good music too!

    Reply
  • Pingback: Vinyl sales exceed CDs for the first time in 34 years-in the US, anyway - A Journal of Musical Things

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