The past eight years have seen an astounding reemergence in vinyl in the UK, so it’s no surprise that this traditional means of listening to music has started to make more money for the industry than it does from sites like YouTube and other similar video streaming sites.
BPI has reported that more than two million LPs were sold in the UK last year, which amazingly could be the most since 1994. The spike in vinyl sales gave the music industry £25.1 million, with sites like YouTube bringing in a lower income of £24.2 million. That isn’t to say that streaming sites aren’t thriving too though, as the BPI has also reported that audio streaming grew by 82% last year, reaching 2.6 billion plays in the UK alone.
Before this sudden resurgence of vinyl, it seemed as though the premise of buying and owning a physical copy of a CD, single or vinyl was lost. Digital downloads through Apple became the norm, but even sales for those began to fall in recent years. Especially when sites such as Spotify came into play, as more and more people started to stream music rather than buy it.
The popularity of vinyl now seems to be down to the younger generation, who are discovering it through their parent’s collections, and indie musicians such as Jack White reiterating how precious vinyl really is. Whereas before music fans would rely on finding records by bands from the 60s and 70s in charity shops, secondhand shops and record fairs, musicians such as Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel and Bruce Springsteen either have or are now reissuing their LPs on vinyl due to the increase in demand and popularity.
There’s something inherently special about vinyl that you cannot find through streaming sites, YouTube, digital downloads or even CDs. The ritual of finding the record you want, taking it home, taking the record out of the sleeve in your hands and putting it on your record player requires a connection between listener and musician that is so unique within the realm of music.
It’s a welcoming sight to walk into major entertainment stores such as HMV and see vinyl on display for every artist imaginable, even with popular musicians of this decade deciding to release their albums on vinyl due to popular demand.
Whether it’s from the younger generation discovering it for the first time, or older generations rediscovering it through their old collections, it’s a relief to see during an era of invisible music in the digital age.
Take a look at the process of remastering and reissuing vinyl through Bruce Springsteen’s reissue box set below.