Loonie Pricing Vinyl Sky-High

The push-back on the Canadian dollar is finally catching up on the price of vinyl in Canada.

Warner Music has notified accounts that effective November 30th a wide range of titles in the format are subject to a price increase, and in some cases the increases are significant.

Take The Black Keys' Brothers album which currently wholesales for 18.50 and retails at 29.99. Effective the 30th the wholesale jumps to $30.09, making it a difficult sell when retailers apply their own margin to it.

Canadian acts are affected by the wholesale cost increases as well. Blue Rodeo's Diamond Mine jumps from $30.09 to $41.50, but the 2-LP set Lost Together and the single disc Live At Massey Hall stay constant at $27.99. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac now costs $16.49 but gets hiked to $22.40, the Genesis catalogue gets bumped $7 to $24.99, but Matthew Good's current Chaotic Neutral remains fixed at $20.99 and Chris Hadfield's Space Sessions remains unchanged at $17.69.   

The revisions are all over the place, some remaining constant, others showing a marginal increase and others soaring through the roof. Retailers will likely try to average the increases across orders, but the fact is vinyl is costly to manufacture, and most is imported from the US—so if you have been eyeing a few titles and putting back making the purchases, now's the time because those prices aren't frozen in time.

For music retailers, the increases are a bitter pill as vinyl has been paying the rent in a declining CD market.

One indie store owner clearly unhappy with the increases noted in an e-mail that "with the demise of Rdio it’s likely some of the other streaming firms are in the same boat which would return consumers to the stores. Not the time for these price increases."

The fact is the Canadian dollar offers no competitive advantage on a format that has to be imported.


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