As tangible items continue to become a thing of the past in this digital age, many people are growing fond of nostalgic memorabilia that can one day be passed on to the next generation. Though each year brings us a hand full of new ways to stream or download music digitally, more people have begun to show interest in buying vinyl records instead. Thousands of MP3 files can be accidentally wiped out in the blink of an eye, but records can be saved for years. That is one of the reasons why vinyls have made an appealing comeback.
The comeback has been so apparent in recent years that when artists release their new music, there is almost always an announcement about where fans can pick up their new album on vinyl rather than in CD or digital format. However, current vinyl sales are nowhere near their peaks sales in the ’70s.
On a small scale, it may feel like everyone around you has suddenly picked up a record collecting hobby but the bigger picture shows that vinyls still make up a very small percentage of overall music sales. According to music tracker Nielsen SoundScan, vinyl record sales have only grown from 0.2 percent to 3.5 percent in the last decade. But that may explain why digital music sales were down in 2013.
The music industry has gone through drastic changes within the last three decades (as you can see in the image below). The way music is bought and shared now is completely different thanks to outlets such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, etc. Though, vinyl sales may not be as tremendous as we originally thought, the growth in sales is still something to take notice of. Hopefully this means the format won’t die out completely so we won’t have to explain to our future children what buying physical copies of music was like.