Talk of disruptive technology or creative destruction and many people will reposition themselves to hear more of it. Surprisingly, when it’s about the advances made in music and the whole of entertainment industry, vinyl records haven’t been spared the denunciation. Viewed as embodiments of the past, vinyl records don’t have a place in the houses of many people today.
However, that is changing. Despite the digital wave revolutionizing music recording and transmission, many people are now thronging various shops to get the records. Even dealers and collectors have been puzzled by the turn of events. Perhaps, their resurgence is an indicator of something terribly wrong with digital records.
Many have actually recounted why they are turning to the decades old format. Definitely, choice and freedom stand out -- you buy and sit down to listen to what you want. That freedom inspires pride and a sense of control. Arguably, technology has turned us into “digital zombies” where we are tossed to and fro by the digital wave. Certainly, there couldn’t be a better time to reclaim that “liberty”. It’s not only the older generations who are obsessed with vinyl records but also the younger ones.
Data from Nielsen, a consumer watch company shows that vinyl sales stood at 12 million units last year. That record was significant since it happened against the backdrop of surging digital downloads. Mathew Gunby, records collector and seller says that collection is more important to him than sales. Even though many view online music “easier”, there is still a place for vinyl records.
A closer look at the numbers reveals even a more stunning picture. Music is about money as it is about entertainment. YouTube and the likes earned musicians $385 million in 2015 but vinyl sales earned a whopping $416 in the same year according to Recording Industry Association of America.
As pointed out earlier, the younger generation is also falling in love with the records. Some of the tracks have beautiful lyrics that speak directly to the hearts of many young people. As opposed to modern artists who pay attention to beats and appearance, their counterparts in the 70s emphasized on lyrics.