The resurgence of UK vinyl in lockdown
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In a year where music festivals and gigs may as well be categorised as non-existent, it seems that music fans have replaced the buzz of a live set with the art of physical record consumption and it feels like vinyl is here to stay.
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have released new figures which disclose that vinyl records now account for 18 per cent of albums sold in Britain. LP sales in the UK have risen to five million, the highest recorded figure in three decades and are now in their 13th year of consecutive growth.
Initially, vinyl LP sales began to drop during lockdown number one, but revived later in the year giving analysts the first glimpse of a positive year-to-date growth.
Many campaigns executed throughout 2020 also helped to group music aficionados together in support of independent record shops and the artist community, such Record Store Day and online listening parties, showcasing record collections and new releases.
Even in the face of technological advances and a global pandemic, both occurrences which should have threatened the vinyl movement, sales are now in their highest since the early 1990s.
It appears that fans have chosen to embrace music consumption as a process, rather than indulging in immediate gratification of algorithm loaded song suggestions, granted by the touch of a screen.
In an epoch hemmed with rapid and ever-changing technologies, it’s natural to assume that current tech will become defunct and that future technology will one day take its place.
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While this may be true for almost all technology that’s ever existed, vinyl records have managed to dodge their tragic demise and have even excelled, against all odds.
The reason? It seems that vinyl hasn’t surpassed digital, but has instead succeeded in cohabiting with its more advanced counterparts, offering untouchable sound quality, compatibility of modern aesthetics and nostalgia as an alternative for the convenience of a streaming platform.
Most of all though, vinyl offers the tangible experience of listening to music, something which digital technology will never be able to match, no matter how many times it evolves.