Picture: Digital Music News

Free music streaming isn’t just the biggest source of music today, as it’s been revealed it plays a massive part in the vinyl revival.

A poll by ICM, revealed to the BBC, shows the massive role music streaming is playing in the massive boost in sales vinyl records have seen in the past decade. It showed that half of those who purchased vinyl records recently had listened to the album before on streaming services.

The practice is apparently more common between free, ad-supported services like SoundCloud, YouTube and Spotify free but not limited to these. (I myself pay for streaming and will buy Vinyl and CDs of albums I discover and love) The poll also showed some strange results, for example it reported that 48% of people who had bought vinyl in the past month hadn’t even played it yet, but wait… it gets stranger.

7% of those who had bought vinyl in the survey didn’t even have a turntable to play it! Whilst 41% didn’t use their turntable to play the vinyl they buy. It’s no secret that a lot of the appeal in Vinyl is it’s collectible appeal, with large cover arts and sleeves that feel less tacky than a plastic case. This still doesn’t justify neglecting the warm crackle of listening to your albums on vinyl to me – but hey, as long as they’re investing in the music industry.

figures vinyl sales


Jordan Katende, a student in Manchester told BBC News: “I have vinyls in my room but it’s more for decor. I don’t actually play them. It gives me the old-school vibe. That’s what vinyl’s all about.”

18 year old Helena added: “It’s really nice to have an object that you can hold and physically play. I also think it’s important to support artists financially if you can. I like it if someone puts effort into making a release look special.”

The news of streamings importance in vinyl’s resurgence comes just days after the IFPI showed that the global music industry was growing in revenue for the first time in 20 years, thanks nearly solely to music streaming with a boost from vinyl sales.

Where do you stand – do you buy vinyl and does streaming play a part in your purchases? Let us know in the comments below.