Vinyl Records Outsell Digital Downloads
Its finally happening, we’ve been right the entire time! The resurgence is upon us but lets face it… It was only a matter of time before the tables turned again.
An awakening among the population realizing the value of that high quality audio, holding something physical and weighty, placing the needle onto the waxy record as that comforting crackle hits your ear. Eagerly anticipating the start of an amazing piece of music.
The Facts and Figures
So these statistics are based on sales in the UK for the calendar year 2016. Digital downloads/streaming still outshines vinyl record sales in the USA but with a yearly growth gradually tipping in favor of vinyl, the USA is surely not far behind.
- Sales 2016: Vinyl Records £2.4m ($2.9m) – Digital Downloads £2.1m ($2.6m)
- Sales 2015: Vinyl Records £1.2m ($1.5m) – Digital Downloads £4.4m ($5.4m)
Why the Demand for Vinyl?
There are numerous variables as to why these changes have occurred. At the start of the millennium as digital music was beginning to boom it was thought that the vinyl record industry was as good as dead. In actual fact there has been a steady growth in vinyl and record player sales annually since about 2007 and this is growing rapidly every year that goes by.
First and foremost there is more demand. As record enthusiasts our selves we believe that people are getting bored of the cheap quick fix of digital music, and it is not giving people the satisfaction they crave. Being a record collector is more than just about listening to a track anywhere anytime at the click of a button. In fact this leapfrogs a whole process that leads to a more fulfilling audio consuming experience.
There is the social aspect of spending a few hours with friends browsing through record stores. Sifting through classic records, more current popular records and many an obscure record too, (check out our ‘Best Albums to Own on Vinyl‘ list here). Then undoubtedly going back to one of your apartments and examining the carefully thought out artwork and sleeve. Holding the physical record in your hands and carefully placing it on the turntable. Then hearing the organic crackle of the vinyl before the music begins and last but not least… the audio quality is significantly better than digital.
All this combined and you can see why people are attracted to this old fashioned form of collecting music.
It adds so much more value having to go through a process in order to reach an outcome. Being able to hold something in your hands and take care of it gives it meaning and creates a bond between you and the artist you love.
This all culminates in a more rewarding listening experience and people enjoy the music more and feel more connected to the artist.
Demand and Supply
As the demand for vinyl records has grown, the merchants have followed. Studies in the UK show that big chain supermarkets have started stocking vinyl, which is unheard of in recent years. Also record labels have clocked onto this growth and are now, just like the old days, pressing vinyl for new releases.
Amazon, the biggest market in the world, has also opened an online vinyl store. Stocking almost any album you can think of on vinyl. High street record stores have also been booming with new stores popping up everywhere as well us old ones re-opening.
All in all you can see there is a trend… there is a demand for records therefore there is a supply of records.
We can only hope and imagine that the growth will continue in the same manner. If the growth in sales does grow at the same rate then we can expect vinyl sales to surpass digital on a world wide level.
This can only be a positive thing for music as an art form.
We can move from cheap quick fix singles, to thought out cohesive pieces of musical art.