Tag Archives: vinyl

The rise of vinyl records

It’s true that holding a physical album or a vinyl makes music lovers happier than spending 99 cents on a digital track.

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This is the reason why the music industry has seen a notable rise in the sale of vinyl’s in the past 5 years. Data released by Nielsen Soundscan show that 9.2 million vinyl’s have been sold in the US in the last year whereas more than a million have been sold in the UK, which is a milestone achieved in Britain since 1996 when the Spice Girls released their smash-hit single “Wannabe”.

 

But what are the main reasons this is happening? Is it just because collectors love to own a piece of memorabilia of their favourite artists?
There’s actually more behind it. Experts say that vinyl records deliver a richer and high quality sound which can be “stressed” and “ruined” on a digital track.  Tracks mastered on a vinyl record are pressed onto it on a quality of cymbals 640k instead of a normal mp3 track which is usually 320k.

 

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Another fact that studies revealed is that the sound of an LP introduces engagement and accuracy throughout the recording of every instrument of a song onto it. For example, reproducing bass on vinyl is a serious engineering challenge, there’s a lot of adding additional vibrations and distortions to make the sound “warmer” than a normal album according to Pitchfork.com – this not only increases the quality of the sound but connects emotionally the artist with the listener.

HMV, the British retailer has seen a rise on vinyl records sale for 69% in 2016 which is +78% on 2015.
“People are buying vinyl records because you can easily frame it and hang it on the wall of your bedroom” employee Mark commented.
The chain has started organising events where fans can meet their favourite artists and get their new album signed for free. That boosts up their sale on physical music.

Bands have already started to release HMV signing session tours nationwide.

 

Banquet Records, an independent record shop in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey started to organise live shows followed by singing sessions in 2008.

“I’ve seen my favourite bands here at Banquet Records, that’s where I get my exclusive LPs. I have many and they’re all signed, I have All Time Low, Blink 182, Moose Blood, Tonight Alive to name a few. This is how I started my vinyl records collection and I have over 120 now. I am so proud of it”

The store his home to alternative and upcoming new bands in the music industry. It’s one of the most known music stores in the UK and sells limited and rare editions of EPs as well as LPs.

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It’s true, part of the demand comes from the old fashion consumerism to possess things that defines us. Something you can satisfy when buying digital music.

 

Nik Pollinger, a digital anthropologist who advises companies on the factors that motivate consumer behavior, told TIME in an email, “What we display in public is used to send social signals about our identities. Making our taste in music visible has historically played an important role in such signalling for many people.” Owning a vinyl collection, of course, “restores this ability.”

That doesn’t mean that digital sales are decreasing. That is still the feature and record labels are already dealing with it, experimenting new strategies of sales and marketing.
In 2015 global digital music grossed 6.7b dollars which is an enormous figure and a plus 10.2% compared to 2014. Streaming remains a significant factor within digital music with platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Premium subscriptions have seen a massive rise in the past couple of years with more than 78 million people now paying for music, a big fight against piracy.

 

A vinyl is usually more expensive than a digital download. Most releases range between $11 and $30 although special edition can reach up to more than $70 (which you can buy here).

 

The most sold biggest selling vinyl albums are Blackstar by David Bowie, Back to Black by Amy Winehouse and Nevermind by Nirvana in the UK. They’ve been in the top 20 since 2012.

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Although sales within vinyl albums are increasing, they’re only making 6% of overall music sales worldwide in the last year. It’s nice to see a wide increase and we hope to understand the many reasons why people are inspired to own a vinyl instead of an album.

Vinyl sales reach 18-year record high

Vinyl sales this year have smashed a near 20-year record with over 1 million copies sold. Sales are at the highest point since 1996, estimates project that the total will exceed 1.2 million with an injection of cash over the Christmas period, driven mostly by iconic rock albums from bands such as Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin. But, unsurprisingly, the highest selling vinyl album this year is Arctic Monkeys’ fifth studio album AM, which despite its success drew polarised opinions. 

The figures have shocked many due to the digital dominance over distribution in the UK music industry. Oligopolistic online music providers such as iTunes and Spotify control a huge part of the market, with high-street media retailers such as HMV collapsing, and CDs on a steady decline, the repopularisation of vinyl is something most did not expect.

Nostalgia is certainly a word you could apply to the recent change of tides, with CDs on a lethean decline into distant memory, fans and audiophiles have succumbed to the traditional – something with aesthetic.

Aside from dads waxing lyrical about the forgotten days of music, where fingering through tactile records was exactly one-half of the joy, there is still an omnipresent demand for new vinyl releases – in the genre of electronica.

With the digitised epoch revolutionising with way creators view creating, DJing has been simplified almost to the point of removing its value, but some stick to their roots and only mix vinyl, and so cultures a demand for record labels to keep pressing new releases. Although, the vinyl market still only represents 2% of all UK music sales.

It’s said that the first play from a virgin vinyl is unrivaled, at which point a steady decline in quality ensues. DJs especially can stand testament to this fact, with their low-angled scratching needles carving grooves out of their totem LPs.

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East London is the staple go to of anything current. The recent resurgence in vinyl popularity is no different. This weekend in hipster-central Brick Lane the annual Independent Label Market takes seat. Nearly a hundred different UK independent labels including Hyperdub, XL, 4AD and Mute are set to present their wares.

On sale are the latest LPs CDs and tapes alongside other merchandise. This is a vinyl lover’s haven, but be warned, you parent’s collection doesn’t have a place here. Expect the latest in techno, afrobeat, disco, house and indie with exclusive test pressings, rave remixes and limited edition bootlegs.

Fortunately London’s Brewers’ Market is hosting a pop-up beer garden, same day same place, so you can have a beer to lubricate yourself through the crowds of discerning Christmas shoppers. Everything kicks of at 11am but we recommend getting down there early to squeeze in the best deals.

Pictures: [DUNCAN]