News & Jukebox Chart

Old records outsell new releases

Old records are outselling new releases for the first time since records began in 1991, according to industry body Nielsen Soundscan. The music industry body discovered that the first six months of 2012 saw 76.6 million “catalog” records (those albums released more than 18 months ago) sold, compared to 73.9 million current releases. The top selling catalog records were Guns N’ Roses’ Greatest Hits and four albums from recently deceased Whitney Houston.

A number of reasons have been given for the trend, with the price drop of older albums, the increasing popularity of digital sales and the high cost of new releases being credited for the fact that older albums are more popular than their newer varieties.

Commenting in online publication Hypebot, Hisham Dahud speculated about the trend, writing:

“It is also likely that many consumers are repurchasing old records that they may have either lost or wanted to replace in digital format.

“And, as we saw with Whitney Houston and several others before her, the deaths of popular artists are certainly traceable to spikes in their record sales, which attributed highly to the sales of catalog records during the first six months of 2012.”

The trend highlights the need for shops, pubs and bars to provide customers with a selection of background music that features a wide variety of tracks, rather than just the newer releases. While new records are very popular, there will always be a demand for background music systems to feature classic tracks.

Contact the Soundnet team for more information relating to pub and restaurant background music systems.

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