We have reached peak nostalgia. For the first time in history, vinyl records are outselling digital releases.
Despite almost dying out entirely in 2006, the old school format has been steadily growing in popularity over the last eight years with sales last week outdoing its modern counterpart by a cool £300,000.
Recently supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s starting stocking their shelves with vinyl records, opening up the market from just specialist second hand record shops hidden away in the back streets of Soho.
Chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association, Kim Bayley, credits this more mainstream acknowledgement to the vinyl record’s ever growing popularity, as well as an expected bump in sales as people search for Christmas gifts.
She says: “We have a new generation buying vinyl, lots of teenagers and lots of people under 25, who now want to buy their favourite artists on vinyl and have something a bit more tangible, a bit more collectible. People have become keen to support their favourite artists by buying into that ownership concept. It’s very difficult to demonstrate your love of an artist if you don’t have something to hold on to.”
While Bayley makes a valid point about the concept of a fan wanting “ownership” over an artist – after all, that’s why we buy merchandise – there is also a definite auditory benefit to listening to a piece of music on an analogue format, as well as the concerted effort to listen to a record rather than just whacking something on Spotify.
Could this be the start of our revolt against digital?