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Sales of Electric Guitars Decline Over Ten Years

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The love for guitars is seeing a new revolution as sales of acoustic guitars is now surpassing the love for their electric cousin. People are now showing their love for the old-school guitar more than the electric version.

According to retail reports there has been a decline in the sales of the electric guitars by 22% since 2008. Industry analysts say this is because of the shift in interest of younger buyers.

According to the Washington Post, in the last 10 years, the sales of the electric version dropped by 33 percent. It went down straight from 1.5 million to 1 million. The numbers are still declining, although there was a slight uptick in 2016 and 2017.

According to Music Traders, the sales of electric guitars descended rapidly by 22.7% in the past ten years. In 2008, global sales were 1.452 million, and now down to 1.123 million in 2017.

A Guitar Center representative shared the report to bring to light the recent increase in sales, after an increase in marketing efforts. Sales figures began to drop in 2008, with a heavy fall in 2009, probably influenced by the global financial crisis.

Here are the figures,

2017 1,123,000 5.0%
2016 1,070,000 6.5%
2015 1,005,000 -11.2%
2014 1,132,250 2.0%
2013 1,109,800 -4.6%
2012 1,162,890 -3.2%
2011 1,200,831 2.1%
2010 1,176,479 1.1%
2009 1,163,000 -19.9%
2008 1,452,000 -4.5%

Sales were hit most severely in 2009 and 2015. New sales remained above 1 million, with small rises in 2016 and 2017.

Although the number of units sold has dropped, the price of an electric instrument is on the rise. The average price of the instrument registered a rise from $390 in 2008 to $525 in 2017. This points towards two things, either the effort to sell guitars to more affluent Baby Boomers or a bigger marketing effort to lure young buyers.

The report says that the rise in prices is a positive signal for the industry’s overall revenue. It can’t yet be said if the price rise is due to inflation or if it is a trend.

Electric guitars come in various kinds such as 6-string, 12-string, bass, national and others. There are two main electric body types – solid body and acoustic.

At the same time electric guitar sales fell, acoustic guitar sales rose. Sales grew 14.6 percent to 1.51 million units over the same timespan. Acoustic sales were especially good in 2015 and 2016. The average price also jumped from $359 to $490.

There are many reasons attributed to the rise including the availability of various sub-categories in acoustic guitars like dobros, mandolins, and banjos. The availability of First Class Guitar Tuners makes it very easy to create the best tunes with acoustic guitars.

Another reason could be the inclination of more people towards everything retro, similar to what is happening with the vinyl LP market.

In terms of overall revenue, both categories are rising. Music Traders shows higher wholesale and retail values.

Gibson Guitar, the guitar maker, is in trouble as the downfall in sales continues. The company has filed for bankruptcy protection citing the sales drop. Guitar Center, the world’s largest guitar retailer believes sales in the broader market will not be greatly affected.

Shruti Gupta is a writer and digital marketing consultant at Rankmebest.com. She has a passion for technology, startups and other business topics. She lives and breathes digital marketing, and has contributed to a number of famous websites. Her aim is to spread her thought-provoking ideas to all generations.

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