Way before the days of Spotify, streaming services, even CDs and cassettes. There were vinyl records, and in recent years they have been the highest selling physical music media.
In the 70’s vinyl records sold on average 530 records world wide per year, and accounted for 66% of physical music sales.
But as new, easier, and smaller formats emerged. Vinyl sales dropped in the early 90’s to less than 10 million units sold a year.
“It’s interesting to watch so many things come back into style (even when those things are far less convenient than modern alternatives) makes me wonder what things from our generation might cycle through in the future.” said Grace Mayor
Fueled by millennials and the older half of Generation Z. The vinyl boom is now in full force. In 2019, 18 million sold, in 2020, 27.5 million sold, and in 2021, 42 million sold.
What’s not even counted in these numbers though is the amount of used records sold. On websites like on Discogs (9 million active listings, and sold 12 Million records in 2020) and eBay (which has 3 million active vinyl listings). Then we cant forgot the nearly two thousand record stores in the US and the thousands of record label/band websites.
“I’m not really into it but I’ve got a few friends who. are into it and I think its super cool. I may get into it eventually but I just think its cool” said Nick Arancibia .
The vinyl boom slowly started with the indie labels who made limited run records for indie, screamo, hardcore, emo, and other genres in that similar sense.
From there it slowly started to spread to bigger and bigger bands, and loyal fans will buy anything, and then from there people start to realize that they actually start to like it, and slowly start to expand their collection.
“I own a few and I just occasionally use them because it makes me happy to see them spin, I’ll probably start buying more in the future.” said Taya Wescott
2020 was the very first year since CDs came out that vinyl has finally outsold the compact disc.
The vinyl boom has made it hard on labels to actually press and make vinyl in the past few years. 3 years ago vinyl records had an on average 2-3 month turn around time, but now to make this odd pieces of plastic takes 6-12 months.
Vinyl records will never surpass streaming services, but it will be here to stay for awhile.
And always remember, the plural of vinyl is vinyl, not vinyls.