According to U.S. sales figures, vinyls have a bigger revenue than streaming music, as it has been growing year upon year. The sleek vinyl has grown by 52% year-on-year in the first half of 2015, as reported by NME.
So why is vinyl coming back to prominence? Let’s speculate.
Since HMV closed down a bunch of stores around the UK, it left a lot of towns with nowhere to shop music, yes there is Amazon and Ebay but, lovers of music crave the hunt and rummage for hours in stores until they find something they deem worthy to spend their money on. So when HMV packed up a lot of shops, it forced people who shopped there to go out and find other music stores around the area, with most of them being traditional record shops it may have edged people towards buying the format.
When HMV closed in my area, I knew there were others not too far that hadn’t closed which pushed me towards going out to them. When I went to these other HMV stores,I found they sold vinyls, which is something my store never did. So, knowing the vinyls they sold were freshly packed, untouched and fully working I often brought records from there, as well as other independent record shops.
However it could be down to this aura vinyl’s have about them that a CD or a digital copy could never have. When putting a record on it seems like a genuine hobby, whereas playing music off a cd or laptop seems just to provide noise in the background. There’s an action and a process of putting a record on. It takes time to select and choose which one you want because, you can’t just quickly swap it over to another track from another album, so there is a sense of commitment.
Finally, it could be that people have grown tired of the CD and digital format. CD’s are smaller and playable in the car, granted, but they are cheap discs with tacky cases that break far too easily. Digital music has its pros because they take up no room and you can of course carry a whole library of music around with you. But you have no physical copy! It suits you for the present as you don’t have to store it but, what happens when you’re older and you want to show people the collection of music you have. You can’t show it because you technically don’t own anything, except for some sounds and a picture of the album, which is a huge part of any record, the big printed sleeve.
Then again, who knows, vinyls could simply be a fad that everyone is jumping onto to look cool. Don’t be one of those.
Words by Alex Wise @al4563