Since vinyl started its resurgence in 2006, it has steadily been rising little by little each year. However, in 2020, even the experts of the music industry were surprised when vinyl surpassed CD sales. Yes, it could probably be because the CD was dying but it’s more than that. The numbers have increased dramatically.
In 2020, 27.5 million vinyl records were sold in America alone. This is 46% higher compared to vinyl sales in 2019, which is the dramatic entrance vinyl needed to officially show the world that there is a vinyl record comeback.
We can now all say with 100% certainty that vinyl has reclaimed its throne!
But the important question is…will vinyl records be sitting on its throne for a long time or is this just a fad that will go away quickly?
According to James Hill, the CEO of an LA-based custom vinyl records manufacturer, Unified Manufacturing, they didn’t expect vinyl records but especially custom vinyl pressing records to take over too soon.
“At the beginning of 2020, we were stunned that almost all of our orders are vinyl records. We offer CD duplication and custom vinyl record pressing services so we witnessed firsthand how CD sales dipped and how vinyl sales soared. It seems like vinyl is the only thing that’s selling these days.”
We believe vinyl records are here to stay
Of course, it cannot overtake digital music sales but it will increase steadily.
There is no study yet of this resurgence but we guess that the pandemic has made us all get bored with anything digital. We are on our phones, TVs, laptops more than 10 hours a day so we want a different experience. And since we can’t go to bars or concerts, vinyl is the next best thing. Vinyl is physical. You can see it (and it’s beautiful compared to music files), touch it (but just don’t touch it too much or you could damage it), taste it (why not?), smell it, and when you listen to it, it has a more raw feel. You’d feel less bored and sad while stuck at home during these strange times.
To paraphrase Jack Black, we listen to Spotify when we’re in our car or buying groceries, we listen to vinyl when we want to relax and truly enjoy music.
One factor that made vinyl hot again is that it’s affordable and easy custom vinyl pressing (some with no minimum order) which encouraged many artists, even those not signed with a label, to release a few records. It’s now so easy to press some records!
Another thing is the ease of pre-selling vinyl records on the internet. You don’t even have to press records yet. All you have to do is announce it to your fans and post a mockup on your website and social media. Get a feel of their response. Thanks to the internet, there is less risk in selling vinyl records these days compared to decades ago.
Lastly, social media has made cool things trend fast. You will be flooded with really creative vinyl record releases that are eye-candy. If you’re a musician planning to release a few records, then this is probably a must. Your vinyl records should not just be black and in a basic jacket, you have to squeeze your creative juices and come up with a lovely record. There are so many options for this nowadays. There are splatter vinyl records, metallic vinyl records, glow-in-the-dark vinyl records…the options are endless!
These are some of the reasons vinyl is back from the ashes
Indeed, 2021 is going to be an exciting year for music formats as the pandemic has made us a little fed up with Spotify and Youtube music videos. We are not sure if vinyl will continue to rise in the next 10 or 20 years but we are sure it will still rise this year and in the next couple of years. Musicians are making them, and people are buying them like crazy. And I guess that’s what we just need to know.