The Vinyl Revival, Here’s The Stats
I remember clearly when the trend went to cassette- oh the clarity! The CD? MY GOD THE PURITY, the download INSTANT GRATIFICATION AND PRISTINE SOUND!
Now back to vinyl. In a world where everything old is new again- of course it was a matter of time before the platters got spinning. The only thing I appreciate about albums is the packaging. I adored ‘album covers’ and the origami fold outs in your average CD left me cold. I want liner notes, I want lyric sheets in a font I can actually read! And so now in the wake of another Record Store Day some interesting statistics are buzzing about who is buying the plastic pancake, where and why.
Sales of new and vintage vinyl are biggest amongst 18-24 year olds (14% had bought vinyl in the last month compared to 9% of 25-34 year olds and 5% of 35-44 year olds), its those damn hipsters!
The reason for this 'vinyl demand' is explained by some of those interviewed by ICM:
'I love the way vinyl sounds so raw. Other formats sound like an annoying frequency if listened to repeatedly, whereas I feel vinyl has a much fuller organic sound. Also I think the sleeve and artwork on some records are just amazing and nice to have as a collection.'
'Sound quality, especially on bigger systems, and the tactility of a piece of vinyl. Nothing comes close to the feel of vinyl when mixing – it's more akin to an actual instrument in my opinion.'
I have a hard time with that. Unless you have an impressive stereo, your quality could well suck regardless of format.
8 out of 10 (85%) record buyers prefer to buy in their local independent record store. In fact the research suggests that having an independent record store nearby actually influences how people buy their music. 86% of vinyl buyers have an independent store near where they live.
'I like the excitement of going to a store and roaming through all sorts of weird and wonderful records I've never seen.I only really buy online if there is something specific I'm looking for and can't find in shops'
'For new/repackaged vinyl I would try to avoid using high street shops such as HMV, I prefer to find an independent store first.'
Unless, like me your nearest indy is over an hour away, then you’re screwed.
Of vinyl buyers, 52% also bought CDs, 31% got MP3 downloads, and 36% bought luxury editions or box sets and, perhaps most surprisingly, 19% of vinyl buyers bought cassettes in the last month.
27% of vinyl buyers don't play the records they own, and although some are planning to buy a turntable, others say they buy the vinyl to admire and own, and the CD version to listen to the music. As two of the respondents explained:
'It allows me to display the cover in my frame and leave the CD in the rack to play.'
'You can own what is essentially a piece of art in a size where artwork can be appreciated (unlike most CD covers).'
In other words, buy now before you have legitimate bills to pay and you’re forced to chose just one format! Bet that would be digital.