Hey, The Kids Like It

4 Reasons Why Old Albums Are Now Outselling New Ones

So here's an interesting fact: according to Nielsen Soundscan, older catalog albums have officially overtaken brand-spanking-new albums in sales for the first time since Soundscan has been keeping track. That's only since 1991, but it's probably safe to say that this is the first time such a thing has ever happened.

It would be easy to say, "Well yeah, because new music sucks and old music is the shit! Hand me my prunes, get off my lawn, etc." (Yes, you would actually say "etc.") But before we start jumping to conclusions, let's really think about this and try to examine it from a few different angles.

4. You know how to download things. Grandpa doesn't: First and foremost has to be the technological barrier between young and old that has existed since the first Neanderthal grandfather had to be shown how to use the latest newfangled forked stick to cook food, completely forgot everything five minutes later, burned himself horribly, and went back to eating cold woolly mammoth, grumbling bitterly to himself.

If you're under 40 years old, chances are you can download music, either illegally or in other ways that aren't tracked by Soundscan. You can also get by simply streaming your music if you had to, on sites like Spotify, YouTube, and Rdio. Your Dad, on the other hand, most likely still has a CD player in his room and his car, which means he has to buy physical CDs to play them.

Although in my personal household, the reverse is true: Yes, my Dad has an MP3 player in his '67 Camaro while I have a CD player in my '02. Hm. Let's skip the implications of that and just move on.

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John Seaborn Gray