Records come round again. Yes, hipsters did their thing and brought good old vinyl back, and now, after almost three decades, global music company Sony is about to open a Japanese vinyl factory in March 2018, with the aim to keep up with growing demand for reissues and new releases on retro format.
Last year, global vinyl sales reached its highest level in 25 years. Over the past few years, the hub of hipster, Urban Outfitters, has dominated the record selling market. Part of this is down to the fact that UO rent the records they sell to a team of merchants. This way retailers can gain maximize profit, as well as giving artists an opportunity to advertise their LPs.
Within these sales, there seems to be a strong demographic who are actually buying these vinyl’s, and it isn’t the baby boomers. A younger generation, aged from 16- 28, seemed to have embraced a, for them, new way to enjoy their favourite music.
“People think millennials just stream and are just digital, but actually I think we are going to see increasingly over this coming year that young people still want something tangible and real and that’s where vinyl is taking on the role that the CD used to have,” – Vanessa Higgins, CEO of Regen Street and Gold Bar Records.
So why do we like a good record so much?
Well first of all comes the search; whether the hunt takes you to a record store, street market, or online, it’s about looking for something different, be it old or new.
Whilst on the search for the perfect record in a physical shop, it can also become a place to unite with other, and share passions, creating a little community.
And loving vinyl isn’t about perfectly crystal-clear sound quality or portability, it’s about the listening experience. Part of the enjoyment of using a good old fashioned record is choosing which music you want to listen to, and having to physically place the needle in the right place, a satisfaction that cannot be fulfilled through downloading or streaming.
Are you onboard with the rebirth of vinyl?
Text: Afua Aidoo & Irina Gorskaia
Images: Buzzfeed, Urban outfitters, Cassidy Campos/THE CHIMES