The other day at a record store in Summit, N.J., my friend asked the owner how business had been. He said it's been extremely slow since the beginning of the year, with (as he put it) a bunch of releases from acts nobody had ever heard of, but that vinyl sales were very strong. He was particularly happy about the growing trend in which artists offer free downloads with LPs--fans get great sound and a nice collectible item with the vinyl, and portability with the digital files.
Elvis Costello understands this trend: his next album, Momofuku, will be released on April 22 on vinyl and digital download only, according to a Reuters report. Each record will come with a code redeemable for a free download, and the album will be sold online as well, but no CDs will be pressed.
Piracy may be the reason he's skipping the CD. ElvisCostello.com references piracy for his decision to release another album in a super-limited edition set--one copy for each state.