The Vinyl Revival:
In 2016 the sale of vinyl hit a 25-year high with over 3.2million LPs sold. The number of sales was up 53% from 2015. It is clear that the vinyl revival is well and thriving, but why? The 7in or 12in record is certainly at odds with a world that is becoming increasingly digital and intangible.
The steady rise of vinyl sales in recent years has led to the return of the exclusive vinyl chart. In 2015 the Official Charts Company launched the top 40 singles and album countdowns for vinyl. The chart offers a delightful collection of music that you would be hard pressed to find coexisting in any other listing. ED Sheeran’s Divide is currently number one in a top ten that features Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon, Rag’N’Bone Man – Human and The Beatles – Abbey Road. The chart offers a wonderful eclectic mix of great music from a multitude of decades. Unlike the singles chart, vinyl charts are not as susceptible to being monopolised by one artist.
Research from the ICM revealed that 18-24 year olds are continuing to be the driving force behind the vinyl success. There has also been an increase in the number of 35-44 year olds who are returning to the old medium. A rather surprising fact generated from the same research shows that 34% of vinyl buyers don’t actually own a turntable. This rather odd statistic begs the question why are people buying vinyl if they don’t intend to listen to the records? I suppose the answer is down to your own interpretation. I would be inclined to believe that for the 34%, their vinyl collections are indeed just that a collection of material that is to be kept safe and admired. They look cool, are stereotypically hipster and make for a nice display. For the remaining buyers, who have every intention of listening to their record, I suggest that the vinyl offers a bit of space and time. In a world where we are constantly ‘live’ and multitasking, the act of putting on a vinyl forces you to sit and listen to the craft that spins out of this well loved medium.