Miraculous Return of Vinyl in Today's Time + Their Rising Popularity

Record players and vinyl have become all the rage nowadays, but not with whom you might think!

By Nicole McCray

August 12 2022

Streaming music became the new norm after physical album sales no longer seemed to appeal to the music listening generation. As a result, we have a practically endless supply of music at our fingertips these days.

But even with streaming being a primary resource in which people listen to music, there has also been a miraculous comeback of vinyl records.

Vinyl, of course, has been around long before the days of Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, and even Napster in the 1970s. Then, walking into a store and looking through albums for hours was a pastime for many music lovers.

Nowadays, however, digital music makes it easy to simply push a button and hear your favorite song without going anywhere.

So, why has there been such a comeback for vinyl in today’s time? 

There are probably several reasons for the return of the record. Perhaps you love the crackle and pop sounds when you move that needle to start your favorite song.

Or maybe you just love a particular artist and want to have a piece of that in your hand - well, here are some surprising reasons behind the popularity of the return of vinyl.

Finding an Appeal with Millenials

CD sales have dropped dramatically, but record sales have increased.

You may believe it to be nostalgic baby boomers or those from generation x going back to the “old ways.” Still, statistics are showing that it’s actually millennials that are driving this increasing trend of record sales. 

Those ages 18 to 35 accounted for almost half of the United States' record sales for 2021, and for the first time since 1986, they beat out CDs in annual sales.

Though it does seem that primarily those born in the 1980s to 1990s account for the more significant portion of purchases, there has been an increase in purchases for those still in their teenage years.

Instant Connection

Music instructors working out of Music To Your Home in NYC shared their elation related to the spike in record sales.

Vincent Reina, the co-founder of MYTH, states, “there is something to be said about being able to physically go into a record store and purchasing an album that creates a deeper and instant connection to the music.” Listening to an album can take you on a journey.

There may be a reason behind those clinging to what used to be and having a vested interest in the past.

The wake of the global pandemic of COVID-19 had many of us wishing for less challenging times.

Hipsters and those looking for more authentic and vintage music are drawn to the record's magic and the player's sound - in other words, vinyl has become a novelty.

Top Selling Albums from 2020

Source: Statista

These numbers are a welcome surge for the income market as a modern-day independent artist. Streaming services pay a tiny fraction for listens and downloads, whereas a physical vinyl record will provide a more substantial profit.

How We Listen To Music and Wanting to Feel Closer to a Song/Artist

You can hear music anywhere you go nowadays. You listen to it walking down the street or at your favorite little shop. We are consuming more music than before, but it’s not done the same way. Many people like the ability to skip, stop, and start songs they want to hear without listening to an entire album or songs in order.

On the other hand, there is something to be said about those who want to truly appreciate the music or a particular artist. In an age where we are all driven by technology, having records helps to detach from that. 

Vinyl records are also viewed as providing a more mindful method of engaging with the music. The act of pulling out the record, turning it on, and listening to an artist’s work from beginning to end can also provide a more meaningful experience.

It also could be that the imperfections of sounds with the crackles and pops make listening to vinyl a more personal experience. In addition, many music lovers feel that the analog sound from a record is superior to the modern mixing of digital audio.

Having a Physical Heirloom

Maybe, just having a piece of that artist or music in hand is what it comes down to - holding the artwork, reading the liner notes. But unfortunately, digital files do not allow you to do what a record can in that aspect. 

Many people feel they can convey emotions and express themselves with music, and having a physical record on hand to pass down to your child, or trade with a friend, can be reasons for sharing those feelings.

Music has the power to provide universal communication, and it may be your way of connecting with someone, so having that physical record in hand offers comfort.

Helping us all to Stop and Smell the Roses

Listening to vinyl is also a slow burn - you can’t simply push a button and go about your day while streaming services provide you with hours of music.

You have to move the needle or flip the record over physically.

The music becomes a physical activity that you do, rather than being in the background.

The vinyl revival is a welcome break from the reliance on our digital society. It is nice to enjoy the advantages that come with what technology has brought us all, and even more appealing for those in this century that they can relish in both audio worlds. 

Vinyl records have a timeless, physical appeal, and listening to records and streaming our music provides us with the ability to experience music differently.