Millennials make vinyl records a hit

In a generation that grew up on digital audio files and CDs, vinyl is making a comeback. Thanks to millennials, or those with the birth dates ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, vinyl record sales have been increasing significantly since 2008.

An article published by the Canadian Huffington Post suggests that playing and buying vinyl is “about the experience.”

The record labels that are still pressing vinyl know that those who are still purchasing vinyl today are millennials. Today, when you purchase a brand new record there is a chance that it will contain a digital download version of the album.

The experience of buying vinyl is more than anything a CD could offer.

When you purchase vinyl, you purchase art.

Vinyl is encased in a 12-inch printed sleeve making it a display of artwork.  The experience of spinning vinyl forces you to pay attention to the music in a way that is incomparable to any other format.

Purchasing vinyl is an experience in itself.There’s the ritual of physically going to a record store and flipping through each box of records, pulling out anything you think you might listen to more than once and eventually forcing yourself to narrow your choices down to match your budget.

Then, there is the ritual of playing your records.

Finding the record on your shelf, pulling it out of the sleeve and placing it on the turntable, putting the needle on the rim of the record and listening for the satisfying sound of the needle finding its groove.

In 2013, Nielsen SoundScan, a sales tracking system, reported that vinyl made up 2 percent of album sales in the U.S., with about 6 million albums sold where as in 2012 there were only 4 million albums sold. In 2013, CDs made up 57 percent of album sales and digital albums made up 41 percent. In 2014, vinyl LP sales increased 52 percent weakening the sales of CDs.

What makes vinyl appealing?

“I love the white noise sound in between songs. It’s very calming to me.” Renzo Velez, 25, said. “I also just love the fact that I can enjoy the artwork in a bigger format since everyone is used to seeing the little CD album covers.”

Velez said the reason why he started buying vinyl is that his roommate has a record player.

“When we moved in together she brought her collection, and one day I was at home by myself and I grabbed her Let Live vinyl and played it while I was cooking.”

Andrew Barton, owner of Admiral Analog’s Audio Assortment and Oddities on West German Street, said that he thinks vinyl is not as disposable as mp3.

“You’re getting into an investment when you buy a record or physical media as opposed to streaming free mp3.”

Barton said, “I know people think records sound better, but I don’t really have a stance on that. I like the way that CDs, and LPs, and tapes sound.”

“I think a lot of people just like the ambient noise of a vinyl,” he said. “The hissing and popping of a vinyl in the background might be comforting or familiar to some people. A lot of it might just be aesthetics, like the vinyl and the packaging; it just looks the best out of any format. The record spinning on the turntable and holding the large artwork in your hands, I think it’s just a combination of those different factors.”

Emily Daniels, 21, said she collects vinyl because of her father.

“I started collecting vinyl once my dad gave me his old records and bought me a record player. I was in love as soon as I played my first record. I think the first one I ever listened to was The Hollies’ Bus Stop.”

Daniels said to her, vinyl does not sound the same as any other format.

“Especially if the records in your collection are seasoned like a lot of mine are. The crackle of a vinyl record as soon as the needle hits it is a beautiful experience.”


1 Comment Posted

  1. another ridiculous hipstermillennial affection. I grew up with vinyl and HATED it-ticks, pops, skips, dust, warping and EVERY time you play it it degrades, oh yeah, but it sounds “warm”. oh, PUH-LEASE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.