Vinyl resurgence sees record sales

For 12 years in a row, vinyl sales have been increasing, with 14.32 million US sales in 2017 (an increase from nine per cent from the year before).

Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 1:50 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:42 am
Growth in vinyl record sales
Growth in vinyl record sales

This trend is mirrored in the UK; 2016 saw a 25 year high in record sales with 3.2 million being sold.

This number was beaten in 2017 where the BPI found that over four million records were sold.

In the UK, vinyl sales only make up around 1 in 10 of the total music sales, however this number is increasing with CDs and downloads falling.

This begs the question, why?

How is it that there is now a resurgence of vinyl sales, especially of old vinyl?

George Ginn, who owns the The Record Album in Brighton has noticed more sales of vinyl, especially among younger people.

He thinks that there is more to vinyl than simply the music on them.

“I have long maintained that the analogue LP has a far superior sound than any digital recording, and is more of an artifact, because of the artwork on the record sleeves, which many customers find most desirable,” he said.

George also notes that more record decks are also being bought by younger people.

Research shows that vinyl is most popular for the 25-34 range and they make up around 32 per cent of all vinyl buyers in the UK.

Buyers between the ages of 16-24 make up around 16 per cent of vinyl sales.

The rising use of streaming services could be a reason why vinyl sales have been increasing.

A recent poll revealed that streaming services, such as Spotify, are encouraging record sales as people are choosing to listen to the album and then deciding to buy the vinyl.

Bizarrely, in the same poll it was revealed that 48 per cent have bought a record in the past month but have yet to play it.

The idea is that they are used for decoration.

Vinyl is more synonymous with being a collector’s item and somewhat of an art piece more than CDs which can explain why people search high and low for rare records.

God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols is extremely rare, with some fetching around £12,000; the 7in David Bowie album Space Oddity/Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud has a unreleased picture sleeve and only a few are in circulation. This can get you around £3,000 to the right buyers.

Vinyl has also been used as a tool for art and décor. Bars, restaurants, and even clothes outlets have begun to purchase cheap vinyl and use the disk and record sleeves to decorate the wall.

There are several websites dedicated to replicating famous record sleeves for people to purchase and to frame.