The so called “Vinyl Revival” is well under way, as we all know. However many people question the longevity of said revival as well as the mechanics of the growth. Is it just something that the kids are talking about, or are there real and tangible numbers to demonstrate these trends and show just want kinds of changes we can expect from these vinyl records sales numbers? This is where tangible numbers are helpful, and it is easy to see that records really are becoming the favored way to listen to music once more. After all, there really is not a method of listening to music that lives up to the superior sound quality of the vinyl listening experience. It really is just a horse of a different color, and while digital music has certainly changed the way music is spread around the world, what we lack is a great way to maintain the superior sound that is created through analogue music. Perhaps this is why vinyl records are getting a much deserved revival: people are realizing the convenience in music is not everything. We are learning that the best things in life are not necessarily the ones that can be digitized and taken on the go. We are rediscovering the roots and the basic of what makes music really powerful; the interaction of the varying lines.
So what exactly are the numbers? Nielsen SoundScan released a mid year report for 2014 that demonstrated that sales of vinyl records are up 40%, jumping yet again after 2013’s record breaking year. This is a powerful statement. While this jump is certainly significant, it is also important to remember that this is still a small portion of the total market share in terms of music consumption. Even so, the growth in vinyl seems to be on par with the growth in online streaming. This seems to show us that music fans enjoy the two most dichotomous forms of music consumption most. We have on the one hand the powerful, rich, and deep sound that can only be found in a musical format like vinyl. On the other hand, there is the easy to consume digital music that we find via mp3’s. Perhaps this also shows that while people are consuming their music via mp3 when on the go that in home listening spaces the record player is still the preferred format. Vinyl albums can be found at online superstores like SoundStage Direct that also carry a multitude of record playing equipment, from turntables to amps and more. The big key to remember is truly the differences in musical consumption: there is either the format that gives the least control (online steams) or the format that represents the epitome of quality musical consumption (records). The formats somewhere in the middle are struggling, such as the CD and even the mp3.
One thing is clear: the industry is robust and there seems to be no sign of it slowing down any time soon. It would appear that the popularity of vinyl records is here to stay!