Nielsen SoundScan revealed that album sales dropped 12.8 percent last year in the U.S. To make matters worse, sales of individual digital tracks increased by 1 percent.
It’s no wonder industry executives are starting to worry. Their saving grace may just be as simple as going back in time—to vinyl records, that is.
According to Rolling Stone magazine vinyl record sales increased 14 percent last year over the previous year.
Keep in mind these sales are only a small part of overall music sales, but the truth is, vinyl is coming back.
Amazon has been quick to catch on, now boasting 250,000 LPs.
Its popularity and marketing will stem from the real and authentic feel it brings music fans—like movie lovers going to the theater.
Senior nursing major Ellen O’Meara enjoys listening to vinyl despite not having her own gramophone.
“I do not have my own record player. I have been saving up to purchase a vintage player of my own and hopefully will sometime in the near future,” she said.
O’Meara likes to add to her collection.
“Every time I am in an antique or thrift store, I snag a record to add to my collection,” she said.
O’Meara believes vinyl is coming back and for good reasons.
“I think people are realizing that technology has taken a bit of the fun out of listening to music. There is an art to be preserved with vinyl records …. It’s not as easy or quick … but it forces you to slow down and enjoy the experience of music,” she said.
Not only is it the look and size that attracts the younger generation to vinyl records, but also the sound quality.
“Many people these days are also beginning to appreciate how vinyl sounds different than what we are used to hearing,” she said. “I think a scratchy old vinyl with a little distortion adds character to the music it plays.”
Many students on campus are jumping on the record band wagon.
Junior Business major Kendall Doles also believes vinyl has a future.
“I think it is something that could definitely catch on again, especially since they usually give you the album you buy digitally along with your vinyl,” he said.
He bought his first vinyl after getting a record player and now has about 20 records.
“I really like the crackling in between songs,” he said. “I’ve always thought records were cool, I mean DJs use them. How can they not be?”
O’Meara is unsure how vinyl will affect the music business.
She said, “I don’t know if it will save the music industry, but it definitely makes a bunch of old-time music lovers happy.”