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Record business sees vinyl growth as a fad

Labels and band managers not convinced by recent resurgence in LP sales

Record industry bosses see the resurgence in vinyl sales as a passing fad, it's been reported.

Last year vinyl sales pushed through the one million mark in the UK for the first time since 1996, thanks to albums like Pink Floyd's The Endless River and Jack White's Lazaretto.

But industry analysts Neilson Soundscan say vinyl accounts for just 6% of total album sales – a figure that record companies say isn't having a huge effect on their business.

Rolling Stone reports that Tom Corson, president of Sony-owned RCA Records, says his company doesn't have a department devoted to vinyl, although he welcomes the increased interest in the format.

He says: "It is a small percentage of our business. It's not going to make or break our year. We devote the right amount of resources to it, but it's not something where we have a department for it.

"We welcome it. It's a sexy, cool product. It represents an investment in music that's an emotional one."

And Candace Berry, general manager of Universal Music Distribution, sees vinyl as a "great marketing opportunity" but doesn't believe the rate of growth will continue.

She adds: "While we do expect growth to continue, it'd be hard to project exactly what that's going to be. I know a lot of people in the business who've gotten back into vinyl the last couple of years. But I'm not sure they're playing their vinyl every single day like they're listening on their device."

Even band managers are sceptical about the value of the vinyl boom. Jonathan Daneil is co-manager of Fall Out Boy and Sia. He says: "On a business level, I don't think it means anything. It's so small relative to Fall Out Boy or Sia or any of our artists. It's still not a meaningful part of their business."

Bands themselves seem to love the format. Primus last year issued their Primus And The Chocolate Factory record on limited chocolate vinyl and Mastodon and Iron Maiden launched special vinyl packages.

Classic Rock magazine published a feature last November investigating the rebirth of vinyl.

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