House and techno DJs are by no means the only ones still championing vinyl records; this year, almost 8 million vinyl records have been sold across all genres of music. While this resurgence is certainly exciting to watch, we must take note that the current LP manufacturing structure has been struggling to keep up with this increased demand. As CDs and mp3’s started to surpass their analog counterparts, the vinyl pressing industry suffered a fate not unlike Detroit’s motor industry. Much of the equipment was either sold, dismantled for parts, or fell into a state of disrepair. Given the cyclical nature of music history, however, it is not surprising that vinyl is now making a comeback. Thus, the market for vinyl is undergoing a process of diversification, no longer reserved for zealous audiophiles and nostalgic DJs.
Given the enormous spike in vinyl sales, one can only speculate on how the industry will adapt. Will vinyl as a listening format (rather than a novelty collector’s item) ever be able to reclaim its throne? And if so, how will its comeback affect the ever-so-turbulent music industry? As we move into 2015, it will be very interesting to see this trend play out, along with (hopefully) the technological innovations required to revive a listening format that, not long ago, was considered just short of obsolete.