Turn Up The Music: How Records Have Made a Resurgence in the Music Scene

Turn Up The Music: How Records Have Made a Resurgence in the Music Scene

When walking into Target, Walmart, or Barnes and Noble customers will find a selection of vinyl records from the latest artists: Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Harry Styles to name a few. Similarly, in the mid-20th century people bought records as their main way of listening to music and many stores sold vinyl records in masses.

Today, despite the use of streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, many music fans are returning to physical music media, such as records. The Recording Industry Association of America reported that in 2022, vinyl records revenue grew to $1.2 billion and marked the sixteenth year in a row of growth.

What caused record resurgence though? Trends often come in and out of fashion, and vinyl is no exception. When CD was introduced to the music scene, vinyl records declined in popularity. The same happened to CD when streaming entered the music industry. However, vinyl record sales are up again.

There are many reasons that vinyl is making a comeback in recent years. Part of the appeal is the items in a record package. Many records come with exclusive artwork, lyric books, posters and songs only available on vinyl. Colored vinyl and creative pressings draw consumers in as well. Many fans are willing to purchase multiple pressings of the same album due to the uniqueness.

Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” release on vinyl is a prime example of this. Swift released four versions of the album, each complete with unique cover art and colors. Other artists, such as Rex Orange County and Olivia Rodrigo released exclusive tracks on records, such as newly recorded songs or exclusive live recordings that also drives vinyl sales.

Some buy records because they enjoy the community. When music lovers walk into a record store it is common to see two strangers having a conversation about music. People connect over a shared love of an artist or a unique record find. New and old music lovers connect over music from 50-60 years ago. Despite the music itself being older, albums like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and The Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are sold in mass on vinyl.

Other consumers swear by the sound quality, arguing that streaming music does not offer the same sound as vinyl.

Whether it be the aesthetic, the community or the sound quality, records have made a comeback in the music industry and with the continuous rise in revenue, it looks like this resurgence is here to stay.

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    Sylvia FreireApr 25, 2024 at 7:34 pm