The current crisis of this year have brought the past back into focus. People have rediscovered their love of cooking and appreciate well-known things. That applies not only to reading printed books but above all to buying and enjoying music on vinyl. The good old record continues to celebrate a seemingly never-ending comeback. For several years now, the medium, which we believed to be dead, has been experiencing a new life.
From Art To Disposable Items And Back
The trend is not new; it just got more robust this year. But for several years it has been observed that music fans like to pick up records again. They appreciate the cover art, the feel and the smell. The ritual that takes place almost automatically when you put a vinyl record on it is part of the enjoyment for lovers. If you think about it a little longer, this development does not come as a surprise. After all, there has been a profound change in the music scene since the advent of the CD. The artists and freaks had to give way to the managers at the top of the record companies. They bet on quick money and pushed the format of the compact disc. We lost the magic of music. The development became even more dramatic with the invention of music compression.
First Time Before The CD
The MP3 format ensured that sales plummeted. The record as a cultural asset had become a disposable item. The trend continued to pick up when streaming services like Spotify finally made purchasing music unattractive. Now a gigantic world library is available to every fan and all music creators can share their masterpiece. That is available around the clock and no longer requires physical data carriers. But just as all data carriers announced the end, the record reported back unmistakably.
The vinyl niche is enjoying excellent growth rates and is successfully positioning itself at the other end of the sales spectrum. While the average consumer spends around ten euros per month on a streaming service, music lovers bet on the black gold. They love looking for special pressings and rare issues. Collecting, unpacking and listening have become a relaxation ritual in strange times. The sales figures also support that. In the first half of 2020, of all times, sales for records in the USA overtook those for compact discs. That last happened in 1986.
While sales with the small silver discs collapsed, the vinyl dealers were happy about further sales increases. Of course, this market is still a niche market. It occupies only four per cent of the total market. But the growth rates are impressive; the prospects are still bright. It currently looks as if the record will continue to be successful as an integral part of the product range. The collector’s items promise their collectors happiness in black discs. They are, at the same time, a collection of memories and an attitude to life that was unique. Above all, this gives hope to the small dealers who have found an excellent opportunity to position themselves successfully in the market by specializing in records.