For a long time, people looked at vinyl as nothing more than a past memory, but once again, vinyl has become a sought after form of music, drawing in consumers with it’s vintage, unique appeal.
The music industry has faced many changes since the evolution of social media and the advancement of the Internet. One of the most prominent issues seems to be the loss of revenue due to external sources such as streaming websites and illegal torrenting. With these two alternatives, many people no longer purchase music, a major source of income that music labels used to rely on. Thankfully though, vinyl sales has helped to alleviate some of the lost revenue.
Within the past few years, vinyl has become a popular collectible source of music once more. Dubbed as the “Vinyl Revival”, many people have become obsessed with owning a hard copy of albums. With vinyl, listeners get to hear their favorite albums in a different, sonic environment.
The music industry has embraced this advancement and now offers vinyl as one of their leading selling products. With such a large following willing to pay top dollar, vinyl has helped the music industry survive against the battle with streaming websites. Vinyl works as an incentive to get people to buy music, as it is normally offered with free downloads of the music.
As an intern at a small record label this past summer, I was able to see first-hand how well vinyl sold, and the care that goes into bringing quality vinyl to music lovers. It was one of the best selling items, with orders coming in like crazy whenever there was a new release. Even if the album leaked online ahead of time, people still wanted to purchase the record as something they could physically hold and own. Many labels do “exclusive presses” of vinyl, getting many consumers to buy more than one of the same record or specifically buy a record even if they already have the album in another variant.
Vinyl variant collection has become a very popular activity in recent years, with first presses of records often being highly sought after and considered to be rare. They are often sold and traded through various forums and “merch swap” websites. Collectors trade for other variants of vinyl, in attempts to add to or complete their collections. Some people even go to the extreme and collect every variant released a certain album, as a hobby or a way to show their dedication and love for that album.
With this comeback of vinyl, it has people questioning, will this be the new norm for music formats, or will it die out like it did the first time? Though we cannot say for certain, I for one hope it continues to stay relevant; this is not only because I personally enjoy adding music to my collection, but because I have seen how it helps the music industry to thrive and keep the thrill of music collecting alive. Â