Return of Vinyl in Today’s Time and Their Rising Popularity
One of the more surprising comebacks in today’s time has to be that for musicians and the rising popularity of records. Vinyl album sales have steadily grown over the last 15+ years, surpassing digital and CD sales just last year.
So, why the return of popularity with vinyl records? And more importantly, what does that mean for independent musicians?
The vinyl revival changes the way we listen to and discover music. However, rather than gen x nostalgic purchasers of the records, it is the millennials who are discovering the beauty in vinyl records. No baby boomers; people from age 18 to 35 years old in the US make up for almost half of the record sales from the past year.
The younger generation may showcase many reasons for their interest in vinyl. It could be a simple intrigue in the past or a desire to be more authentic.
Vinyl Records Provide an Experience
Many musicians feel more connected to a record player’s signature crack and pop sounds while holding a guitar pick and playing along. There is something about the physical aspect of buying and using a record that provides the buyer with more of a hands-on experience with both jamming or simply grooving with it.
The global pandemic of COVID-19 put many people on lockdown, keeping them confined within their homes. As a result, feelings of loneliness increased, so when doors finally opened and people were given the go-ahead to be out and about, it is no surprise to see that going out and buying a physical record is a way to get out of the house and be more social.
Taking a record out of the sleeve, putting it on the player, and moving the needle in place to start the music can help provide an appreciation for the music or an artist. Today’s society and digital streaming give us the advantage of being less engaging with music; you can play music anywhere and listen to just about any song.
However, if you like to listen to an album in its entirety or enjoy reading the liner notes from an artist you admire, there is a stronger connection to a vinyl record. Maka B highlights the greatness of vinyl records in his song “Never Played a 45.” He doesn’t want the younger generation to miss out on the unique experience associated with vinyl.
In addition, hipsters and other people want the idea of having something more vintage. They feel that the sound from a record player is superior to the perfect mixings of digital audio.
Independent Music Artists Beware
For the most part, the vinyl record sales boosts are significant for independent artists recording now. Many streaming services and digital distribution channels for music don’t offer much in the way of royalties for the artists. A vintage Reggae vinyl can cost upwards of more than $1,000 when shopping in a record store.
However, many reggae artists or those who started in the 1960s must be sure they revisit their agreements with management. Depending on the label, the artists didn’t sign proper contracts and won’t receive much of the royalties, even with the records costing so much. There are many nonregulated issues such as these that musicians must be aware of when allowing recordings on vinyl.
Long Live The Record
Whatever the reason that vinyl is making such a comeback, it is a welcome change to the way of today’s digital and technology-driven way of obtaining and listening to music. People today have such a great advantage, with the ability to enjoy digital streaming services and the physical audio experience found with vinyl.