Forget Taylor Swift, The Real ‘Black Friday’ Music Boom Is In Reissues And Vinyl

This Black Friday, the music industry will be watching sales closely, with most attention being focused on Taylor Swift. Still, analysts are saying that the business may be looking in the wrong place to see true profit. Reissues and vinyl are holding their own in terms of profitability.

Shops are gearing up for Record Store Day’s annual Black Friday event, with releases by Paul McCartney and U2 among the highlights. The former Beatle has two singles including a new version of “Wonderful Christmastime” while the Irish quartet has a vinyl version of its “Blackout” single.

Obviously, they have a long way to go to beat Swift’s new album Reputation, which shot to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling more copies in days than any other title this year. This album, like Adele’s 25, also started without major digital access. Swift has only a few songs from it on iTunes and Amazon, also streaming off Spotify or Apple Music, so effectively relying on physical sales.

There are many more reasons why physical music is holding on:


Record Store Day events always see physical items surge. Some of the 800 stores in the U.S. participating last year said their figures were up by 80 percent or more over a normal November week.

EBay EBAY -0.03% says that demand from Internet buyers who snap up physical products peaks at the start of the holiday period and the first weekend of December. A physical disc can be wrapped up or put in the Christmas stocking. This beats giving someone a streaming voucher or a memory stick.

A U.K. survey – but with results mirrored elsewhere – for eBay found that 52% of consumers prefer physical formats and 18 to 24 year olds are actually powering the resurgence. That is contrary to the widespread belief that they would only want digital, streaming and Spotify.