There may be a revival for vinyls, if recent sales are any indication.
Last year, just over a million vinyl records were sold, according to Meghan Avanzino, the vice-president of marketing at Nielsen Entertainment.
In Nielsen Music’s Year-End Music Report, there was a 2.2. per cent increase in vinyl record sales from Jan. 4, 2019 to Jan. 2, 2020.
Simon-Peter Daley, the marketing manager at Precision Record Pressing, said that the vinyl pressing company has seen an increase in demand in the past 10 years for their services to turn music into precious works of physical art.
Clients have wanted more special colour effects, custom packaging and other customizations to make “purchasing a physical copy of an album more enticing than simply streaming it via the internet,” Daley said.
In this age of increased digitization, “people are looking for a physical product they can own and keep as a permanent souvenir,” Daley said, leading to a consistent increase of sales this past decade.
Greg Dee, a vinyl collector since the 1970s said, “it’s mostly the sentimental aspect of hundreds of vinyl albums that I collected over my life that have meaning to me.”
“People are always going to want to engage with other people in real life in a physical location,” Dee said, “and they’re always going to want to own something tangible to represent the music.”
Natalie Stewart, vocal director at OneChurch.to, has a master degree in ethnomusicology; the study of music in society and culture, where she focused on subcultures.
Stewart thinks that vinyl is not making a permanent comeback.
“I believe the culture of vinyls will continue to lessen, and the cost of vinyl will continue to increase for the regular public, as the world becomes more and more digital and mindful of the environment and waste products,” Stewart said.
Razmik Tchakmak owns Antikka – Cafe and Records, a vinyl cafe with specialty coffee and drinks.
Tchakmak said he opened Antikka because vinyl “perpetuates a sense of community, as well for people to sit and actually talk about music and art.”
“Vinyl has been the only thing that’s been constant throughout all changes of technology, so I don’t think it has changed much,” Tchakmak said, “I think it just stayed exactly where it needs to stay.”
Jana Park, a first-time customer at Antikka, said that nowadays, the younger generation is experiencing vinyl culture like the older generations, and it is being preserved through the passion for music.