Collecting vinyl isn’t just for lovers of vintage music; a growing number of younger record collectors are getting involved in the addictive pastime – and with good reason.
Vinyl is back and spinning into our lives. A surprise success story in an industry that is largely dominated by digital, last year it recorded its highest sales since 1988.
When I think of vinyl, I recall my childhood, when my father, now 64, would play the likes of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Beatlesand Led Zeppelin for hours on end on his old yet fully functioning record player. His generation enjoyed the pinnacle of the vinyl era.
In 2016, however, it is no longer just the baby boomers keeping the old flame alive and spinning. Astonishingly, as every other format of music sales spirals downhill, the vinyl revival is only increasing in volume – and that is largely thanks to millennials.
In 2015, consumer research website Music Watch reported that under-25s made half of the vinyl purchases in the United States. That represents a peachy 8 million records bought by today’s youth.
It seems that touchy-feely vinyl is serving up a whole new listening experience and a visceral new way to engage with music that is being lapped up by curious snap-instagramming-twittering adolescents. Even more surprising, they are more interested in investing in old records and limited edition sets than current chart hits.
“In an increasingly digital age, vinyl records can provide a deeper, tactile connection to music that resonates with some of the biggest fans,” according to Josh Friedlander, vice-president of strategic data analysis at the Recording Industry Association of America.
Modern-day musicians are not oblivious to this fact. Adele’s 25 and Taylor Swift’s 1989 records were both in the top five album vinyl sales of 2015. Even Justin Bieber sells surprisingly well on vinyl. Overall in 2015, sales in the US rose by 30 per cent, with 12 million records sold. That was a staggering increase on 2014, when sales peaked at 9 million. In the UK, vinyl is expected to smash past the three-million mark by the end of this year.
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