It’s not only DJs buying vinyl anymore, with record sales at their highest point since 1991 following an upsurge in demand last year. With 3.2 million vinyls sold last year, an increase of 53% on 2015’s total, it seems that Brits are turning back towards physical mediums when buying music, and The Guardian reports that spending on vinyl has surpassed mp3 downloads for the first time since the latter took hold of the market.
No longer just a throwback to your mum and dad’s day, the thrill of owning records appears to be at its most contagious for quite some time. This has been partly put down to some high-profile deaths in 2016, with people rushing to collect mementos following the passing of stars like David Bowie. His final LP, Blackstar, was the best selling album of the year.
The latest figures should not be particularly surprising, however, given that this is the ninth consecutive year that vinyl sales have grown in numbers. This growth has been reflected in far wider visibility than previous years, with high-street retailers like HMV reducing their weighting towards CDs whilst supermarkets like Tesco have also started stocking LPs. An increasingly important source of income for recording artists, the rise of interest in vinyl among younger generations will surely prove music to the ears of record labels of all sizes.
With streaming revenue also up in 2016 having grown by 500% since 2013, it looks like CDs and paid digital downloads might be on their way out, with the attraction of vinyl seeing it become the major format in physical music once more.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photo courtesy of Lee Campbell