Once upon a time, not that long ago, vinyl records were seen as an outdated format for owning music, with people much more likely to have a collection of CDs or mp3s on a computer.
Then with the rise of streaming services, many people seemed sure that physical formats, in general would become a thing of the past, with people transitioning to the convenience of having any track they could hope for at the push of a button.
In actual fact, in the past few years, vinyl records have seen something of a renaissance with the sale of records hitting a 25-year high in 2017.
But why have people fallen back in love with vinyl after all these years? We thought we’d take a little look at some of the reasons this format is back in favour.
A tangible way of enjoying music
We spoke to VDC Group who offer vinyl pressing services about the reasons why they think people are enjoying vinyl again so much as a format, and they told us “people do still enjoy having a physical copy of the music they love, and the vinyl revival proves this.
There is something hugely satisfying about the process of putting on a record and the ritual of keeping them clean and in good condition that just makes you appreciate music so much more.
While streaming is a convenient way of quickly accessing music if you want to truly enjoy an album from start to finish you just can’t beat putting on a record.
What’s more, the records themselves are often akin to pieces of art, with the artwork on the sleeves being something that people are keen to have on display in their houses.”
In fact, it seems that many people even buy vinyl records for the express purpose of putting them on display, with a 2016 ICM for the BBC revealing that 7% of people who bought vinyl don’t even own a turntable.
Owning vinyl is just as much about supporting the artists that you love financially as it is about playing the records for some people, and of course, a record also makes a great gift for the music lover in your life.
Despite what many people think, streaming services appear to have actually helped the sale of vinyl rather than hindered it. Many people assumed that the convenience of instant access to music would kill off physical formats, but it appears that streaming is just introducing people to more music that they love and want to own.
Streaming services offer access to music rather than ownership, and with the algorithms and personalised suggestions of services such as Spotify, people are being exposed to music that they come to love whether it be the latest hits of music from the past.
These people then often go on to buy the music they love the most, and vinyl offers a great physical experience.
For many audiophiles, vinyl offers the most superior sound quality of any music format, and this is definitely a big reason why the format has never truly died out in popularity.
When you compare a record to a CD or digital music that has been compressed the sound is far richer, and a vinyl record is also a great way to hear an album from start to finish exactly as the artist intended.
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