In rotation: 1/10/22

Newsweek: Vinyl Accounts for Over Half of Physical Albums Sold in 2021, Surpasses CDs for First Time: Vinyl records outsold CDs in the U.S. last year for the first time since MRC Data, a music data collection company, started tracking music sales data in 1991. In 2021, 41.7 million vinyl record albums sold, compared with 40.6 million CDs, a massive jump from 2011, when vinyl accounted for less than 2 percent of physical sales of music. MRC Data also reported that the week ending December 23 was the first in its tracking history in which over 2 million vinyl records were sold. During that Christmas-buying week, consumers bought 2.11 million units. Overall music consumption, as tracked by the company, grew 11.3 percent in 2021, with new music released by popular artists like Adele, Morgan Wallen and Olivia Rodrigo. There also was a 12.6 percent increase in on-demand streaming of music, topping out at over 988 billion individual streams. However, the report also showed a dip in the consumption of new music, defined in the report as music released within the past 18 months, for the first time since the company began tracking music streaming in 2008.

El Paso, TX | All That Music expanding, to offer larger selection: All That Music & Video – El Paso’s longest running and largest locally-owned music and media retailer – is expanding. The store at the Fountains at Farah will temporarily close starting Monday, Jan. 10 as it prepares to expand into the storefront next door – more than doubling its size. Construction should take about three months, with the store expected to reopen on Record Store Day on April 16. During construction, the store will temporarily move into a larger space a few doors down from its current shop. That site will open on Thursday, Jan. 13. “Gone will be the ‘cozy-tight’ description of the present store, creating more elbow room and a more comfortable experience for customers.

Miami, FL | Miami store T Bag Records opens in new location: Miami store T Bag Records has opened at a new location. Founders Taimur and Gina Agha, the husband-and-wife team who also run the label and party series Blkmarket Music, soft-launched the shop during Art Basel in December. Located at 5789 Northwest 7th Avenue, the new spot is now open from Tuesday through Saturday for in-person digging. The original T Bag opened in April 2021 out of necessity. “I had no work like everyone else,” Taimur told Resident Advisor. “No gigs, no events, no income. I didn’t get any aid from the government either.” Taimur decided to make use of his extensive record collection and years of experience, both behind the decks and as the former dance music buyer at New York’s fabled Halcyon Records. (He also stumbled into Halcyon during a time of crisis: “In 2008 I lost my advertising day job during the recession,” he told RA. “During this time I was asked to come on board.”)

Loveland, CO | Downtown Sound opens under new ownership: Loveland’s one-stop shop for all things vinyl will be opening its doors once again, this time with new owners at the helm. Downtown Sound, located at 330 E. Fourth St., has been open for 10 years and was most recently owned by Rogan Magyar, who took ownership of the store in March of 2019 when he merged his music-lesson and rental business, Keptone Music Workshop, with the record store in downtown Loveland. But troubles caused the store to close temporarily late last year. In November, the store posted on its Facebook page that it was looking for interested buyers to take over the business — a Facebook marketplace posting was even made to try to find a new owner. Enter Greeley residents John and Jennie Jankow. The couple saw the post looking for new owners and decided to throw their hat in the ring of those looking to take over the store. John Jankow said they weren’t sure initially if they would be selected to be the next owners after attending a meeting of other interested buyers.

New York, NY | One Of The Largest Music Stores In New York Has Thousands Of Records: To a music aficionado, there’s not much better than stepping into a huge music store. When you’re surrounded by vinyl records and CDs, the possibilities seem endless. Leafing through new releases and used gems is a process that will thrill and delight… who knows what sort of goodies you’ll find buried in the stacks? One beloved record shop in New York is Rough Trade NYC. This spot recently moved and no longer has quite the physical size they boasted at their old location, but don’t worry. There’s still plenty to choose from here, and plenty of history to enjoy! Fans of Rough Trade NYC were shocked by their recent move. Their previous location, a 10,000 square foot warehouse in Brooklyn, was more along the lines of what you’d expect for an indie music powerhouse. The new location is at the famous 30 Rockefeller Plaza building in midtown New York. At 2,100 square feet, it’s much smaller than the old location, but still holds an impressive collection of more than 10,000 records.

When it comes to actual album sales (excluding streaming), women and vinyl dominate! It’s likely a surprise to no one that Adele and Taylor Swift are among the top-selling artists of the current millennium in any format, whether it’s streaming, digital downloads, or physical album sales. But when one removes streaming and individual track downloads from the picture and considers only entire albums, the two superstar artists really dominate the sales picture. In fact, women in general seem to have it over the men when it comes to digital or physical sales of whole albums. According to Billboard in its just-released annual recap of the past year’s biggest sellers (using figures from MRC Data—formerly Nielsen Music and SoundScan—for the January-December calendar year and not the November-November chart data that fed Billboard’s earlier published year-end charts), Adele and Taylor dominated 2021’s album sales, when excluding streaming and individual track downloads.

Toronto, CA | Vinyl popularity softens decline of Canadian album sales: industry report: Ten years ago, it would’ve been unthinkable that vinyl records could soften the decline of Canadian music sales, but a new industry roundup says renewed popularity in the physical discs did just that in 2021. Sales tracker MRC Data reports 1.1 million vinyl records were sold in Canada last year, an increase of 21.7 per cent over 2020 when sales dipped amid COVID-19 and supply issues. The latest numbers topped the record of 1.03 million units sold in 2019. The resurgence of the LP helped slow the continuing downturn of record sales across the country, which when accounting for both physical and digital sales, dropped 12.1 per cent to 6.1 million units last year. One of the bright points was a slight uptick in physical sales of 0.1 per cent to nearly 3.8 million units when factoring in vinyl, cassettes and compact discs.

Middlesbrough, UK | A new pressing plant is opening in Middlesbrough: Aiming to help up-and-coming artists and labels. A new pressing plant is opening in Middlesbrough, called Press On Vinyl. Led by David Todd, Danny Lowe, and David Hynes, Press On Vinyl has been launched to help support independent artists and labels. With vinyl sales in the UK at their highest point in over three decades — with 5.3 million records sold last year — existing pressing plant capacities have been pushed to their limits. Press On Vinyl will focus on artists who aren’t signed to a label, as well as indie sub-labels and acts local to the North-East of England, where the plant is based. One of the ways they’ll do this is by offering vinyl runs starting at just 100 units, providing a more accessible entry point for smaller operations. The plant aims to press around 50,000 records per month, with plans to grow this figure throughout 2022 as it increases its number of pressing machines from two to six.

CD Sales Have Increased for the First Time in 17 Years: Adele’s 30, three albums by Taylor Swift, and more contributed to the newfound interest in the physical format. CD sales have increased for the first time in 17 years, Billboard reports. The year-end statistics, courtesy of MRC Data, state that compact disc sales reached 40.59 million units last year, up 1.1% from 40.16 million units in 2020. The jump in CD sales is due to a few top-selling artists, namely Adele and Taylor Swift. Adele’s new hit album 30 was the top-selling CD in the United States, with a total of 898,000 units sold. Swift took the second and third slots with her recently re-recorded versions of Fearless (263,000 CDs sold) and Red (237,000). The top-10 CD sales list also includes Taylor Swift’s Evermore (213,000 units sold), BTS’ Map of the Soul: 7 (210,000) and Be (187,000), Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour (195,000), and others. 2021 marked the first year that CD sales saw a gain since 2004, when revenue from the format was exponentially higher than it is today.

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