For many years it seemed vinyl was doomed for extinction. Major labels had long abandoned the format for CDs and digital downloads. Record shops across the country were closing their doors and vinyl enthusiasts were left thinking, “What now?”
In 2007 something amazing happened. Sales began to rise for vinyl and turntables, independent stores grew stronger, and major retailers from Urban Outfitters to Barnes & Noble were filling their shelves with records to meet this new demand.
Since 2008, vinyl sales have increased more than 223%, selling over 13 million units in 2014 alone. In 2015 sales hit another milestone, with revenue from vinyl surpassing those generated by ad-supported streaming services like Spotify. Demand for vinyl is so high that new pressing plants are starting production for the first time in nearly three decades.
Nowadays vinyl can be found in major retailers as a new generation learns to love the high-quality sound only vinyl can provide.
But who is buying up the vinyl? Millennials. According to the Recording Industry of America, half of all vinyl purchasers during the past two years have been under the age of 25.
“The younger generation is used to having everything in a digital format so it doesn’t surprise me that they are yearning to make their music listening a special experience, something they can hold in their hands and truly appreciate,” said Crystal Griffith, A-T’s Consumer Marketing Manager. “Vinyl sound has a warmth to it that you can’t get in a digital format and the album art is a whole other experience within itself.”
With the rise in vinyl sales, it certainly impacts the artists and record labels who are making the music.
“Vinyl fans are able to experience an artist’s entire album, rather than just a single, which we grew accustomed to with digital streaming and downloads,” said Griffith.
Whether you’re experiencing dropping the needle on a new record for the first time or you’re dusting off your old collection, the return of vinyl is bringing joy to music lovers everywhere. Check out our line of turntables to discover the joy of vinyl for yourself!
What’s your favorite vinyl record? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter – @USAudioTechnica!