In an industry that is heavily streaming based, an old way of listening to music is getting popular again. According to CNBC, vinyl sales were up 108% in the first 6 months of 2021. The Recording Industry Association of America said in 2020, vinyl sales were higher than CDs for the first time in 34 years.
What’s helped create the rise in popularity is that younger people have started to buy it more. Jeremy Rosenbaum said that although listening to records can be more of a hassle, he thinks that vinyl has its advantages.
“You can like collect them, it kind of makes it more interesting if you can like see your collection as opposed to like building playlists on Spotify or whatever,” Rosenbaum said. “And you can get some recordings that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.”
Hayley Fedor got into vinyl because of her love of music.
“I just really was attracted to the idea of being able to have music be physical, and I think it’s a totally different experience when you listen to music and it’s being played on a record player because you hear pit falls and you hear certain rises you wouldn’t hear if you were just playing it on your phone or something like that,” Fedor said.
Although Fedor has been listening to vinyl for about 5 years, she has noticed that more people around her age have been interested in it lately.
“I mean my friend over there is one of them, I just talked about it to her once and now she buys records doesn’t even have a record player,” Fedor said.
Rosenbaum thinks a reason why more younger people are getting into vinyl is because of the artists who are releasing their new music on vinyl.
“I think people realize it’s like a good way to kind of like support your artist, like be a fan,” Rosenbaum said. “Like just like how you would buy and autographed ball of your favorite baseball player. It’s a way to have like some sort of memorabilia almost.”
The Sound Garden is an independent music store in Syracuse. Nick Shelton, the manager, said the popularity has helped business, but that it’s not all positive. He said there are supply chain issues because of the popularity, as well as a major factory burning down and the pandemic.
“All those things kind of became like one massive beast of a problem all at the same time,” Shelton said.
Shelton said that vinyl has been the highest growth product they have.
“Whereas CDs are somewhat plateauing, vinyl continues to grow,” Shelton said.
Shelton said that all genres of vinyl are popular, which wasn’t always the case.
“Longer than like 10 years ago, vinyl was primarily in the realm of like punk, metal and hip-hop,” Shelton said. But now it’s all over the place, like pop music, rock, literally everything.”
Shelton says that he has seen an increase in younger customers but that they have customers anywhere from the range of young teenagers to 70-year olds.
The Sound Garden does a lot to get more customers into the store which includes having limited edition and colored vinyl, as well as participating in Record Store Day.
Record Store Day isn’t an event that includes just your regular vinyls. It’s a special day where independent record stores are given exclusive vinyl releases to sell. There have been three this year and the next one that’s taking place at The Sound Garden will be on Black Friday.