As music goes digital, vinyl records are keeping physical music alive

As music consumption goes streaming heavy and CD’s dig their graves there is one format keeping music lovers from integrating themselves into their computers.

Not even the most savvy of muso’s could have predicted that one of the oldest formats for music would be the one to survive the digital age. But whilst the majority of listeners head to streaming services vinyl records are booming and still growing further.

Somehow Vinyl survived the move to CD, clung on to as a relic by nostalgic baby boomers and grumps who don’t like change. Thank god that someone kept the vinyl section of thrift stores going because it’s back at the forefront of physical music and bringing in an impressive amount of profit as many thought the digital age would end physical music.

In 2017 vinyl records accounted for 14.3% of physical format sales and 8.5% of all album sales. Their impact on overall album sales in 2017 is a whopping 6.5 percent gain on their percentage in 2016. Nielsen reported that last year 14.32 million vinyl records were sold.

The surge is finally being understood by the larger industry as well and responding to the revived trend. In 2017 Sony Music opened up their first Vinyl production factory in 28 years, one of the first big moves back into vinyl production for a major label. Independent stores have also been aiding the rise of vinyl with records and record stores being sold in more and more places.

Vinyl has now been growing for 12 years in a row and is showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In fact it seems possible that in a near future digital music and vinyl survive solely and stand side-by-side for the different kinds of music consumer. I know that personally I love having all the music I could want in my hand, but when it comes to a sit-down listening experience – there’s nothing like flipping a record.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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