Vinyl sales blaze toward new record thanks to millennials

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You have to go back to the 1980s (1989 to be exact) to find a time when vinyl records were selling as fast as they are today. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, the industry shipped 9 million records during the first six months of the year. That compares to 14 million records in all of 2014.

“It’s definitely a bright spot for the business,” Josh Friedlander, RIAA’s senior vice president of strategic data analysis, says per NME. “In an increasingly digital age, vinyl records can provide a deeper, tactile connection to music that resonates with some of the biggest fans.”

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Millennials are the big driver. More than half of record buyers are under 25, and they’re mostly male. The craziest stat of all? Vinyl generates more revenue than online streaming.

“Figures released in the US show that vinyl sales have increased by 52 per cent year-on-year to $222 million (£146m) in the first half of 2015,” NME adds.

It’s all part of the vinyl revival that’s been going on since 2006.

“That ‘thunk’ as the needle settles into the groove is like a call to attention and an affirmation that you have made contact — with the record, with the music, with the players,” writes one vinyl enthusiast on Quora. “Even the pops and crackles that are ostensibly the biggest disadvantage of vinyl can be heard as part of the experience – they are unique markers of the history of your personal copy of this music.”

“Cover art is now a lost art,” adds another. “Everyone would know what the cover art looked like for ‘Thriller’, ‘Appetite for Destruction’ and ‘Nevermind’. The average music fan will have no idea what Katy Perry or Bruno Mar’s album cover looks like, if they even know the album name.”

It’ll be interesting to see where the trend goes from here.

Photo credit: Tania Matvienko

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One comment on “Vinyl sales blaze toward new record thanks to millennials
  1. I was so happy about this headline. The funny thing is I’m not a snob. I cannot really tell a difference in sounds but do really like the experience of dropping the needle. Very cool

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