After decades of decline and being consigned to the loft of baby boomers, vinyl is experiencing a resurgence in popularity that is as rapid as it is puzzling! What is going on? Music technology is unrecognizable compared the heyday of vinyl in the 1950s-1970s. Both quality and accessibility have been vastly improved. Music fans can record and produce high-quality sounds in their own bedrooms or garages. So, why on earth are millennials returning to this outdated style of music production?
Why the revival in vinyl?
Vinyl sales are on the increase for the first time in 25 years but it is suspected that not everyone is listening to them! The two big growth areas in the music technology industry are at opposite ends of the technology spectrum, namely streaming services and vinyl records.
This does not mean that vinyl record players are completely devoid of technology, it is just not what you are probably used to. As Vinyl Vintage point out, there are tone arms, pitch controls, and Benjamin buttons to get to grips with to get the highest quality sounds out of this technology. Newer models have a digital readout or additional computer controls which allow you to convert vinyl to MP3 format or another similar technology. Believe it or not, there really is such a thing as ‘cutting edge’ vinyl technology.
It is likely that the appetite for large, clumsy and delicate vinyl records is part of a wider trend towards nostalgia. Do remember the predictions that digital technology and the introduction of iBooks and Kindle devices would see the end of print books? That didn’t happen and the same can be said of music technology. Instead, we may see a synthesis of the two extremes.
In the same way that many young people yearn for home-made crafts, organic foods, craft beers and authentic experiences, perhaps you have found yourself attracted to vinyl because it is the complete opposite of what is happening all around you in the digital world?
Perhaps you like them because they look and feel so attractive? It may be because they are so delicate and need to be cherished? They are also what your parents and grandparents listened to and that gives you a sentimental link to days gone by and family members that may no longer be in your lives.
Could vinyl make financial sense for you?
It is also likely that they are valued because they are an investment, something that you can keep and that makes a change in our ‘throw-away’ world. They are supremely collectible. If you have collected 5000 tracks on Spotify, that is not going to be viewed as an achievement! However, if you have 5000 vinyl records you have something physical that has resale value and many will go up in price. Many album covers are highly prized as works of art. You have to look after them and care for them and so you develop a relationship with then that you simply cannot do with digital music.
It looks like vinyl has provided the perfect antidote to our digital world and it is here to stay!