How Popular is Used Vinyl?
How Popular Is Used Vinyl?
A report shared by MusicWatch has not only demonstrated that a large proportion of vinyl sales are attributed to used rather than new records, but also that an interesting ‘dual market’ of buyers has emerged.
The poll, conducted by MusicWatch between January and April of this year, suggests that not only is used vinyl being heavily purchased, but used records heavily overshadow new when it comes to LP purchases. “We currently project there are actually more customers for used vinyl than for new,” relayed Russ Crupnick, Managing Partner of the music consumer research company.
Perhaps more revealing was the discovery of a ‘dual market’. Although some consumers purchase both new and used vinyl, most belong exclusively to one market or the other.
Demographics Vinyl vs Used
According to the report:
- One-third of new vinyl buyers are aged 13-24.
- 25-34 year-olds showed a preference for used vinyl.
- Like the younger generation, 35-44 year-olds are also driving sales of new LPs.
- Baby boomers (55+) purchase more used records, especially those created in the 70s and 80s (although boomers only accounted for 26% of vinyl listeners).
Surprisingly, it seems 25-34 year-olds are the biggest driver of the growing trend for used vinyl. In an increasingly digital age, vinyl records can provide a deeper, tactile connection to music, and this concept seems to resonate with Millennials.
Of course, much of this can be attributed to the hipster movement. Vintage vinyl appeals to the sense of nostalgia that defines their movement, and this is helping to boost sales of used vinyl. But although the report suggested that hipsters are buying more used records than any other generation, they may not necessarily be listening to them, raising questions about the longevity of the used vinyl revival.
Is the boost in used vinyl down to a passing fad, or will the baby boomers continue to fuel this trend?
For older generations, used vinyl records represent the romance and nostalgia of the past; the memory of purchasing your first LP; Saturday afternoons spent rummaging through dusty old record stores.
When you purchase a used record you’re buying a piece of history, a memory from the past. The act of selecting, purchasing and playing vinyl is an attempt to reclaim the process of music listening as something more than convenience; as something planned, engaged and revisited. The boomers want something tangible and nostalgic. Many are also still working to complete their collections.
Although it remains to be seen whether the vinyl revival will continue on its upward trajectory, what is clear is that older demographics, although representing a smaller section of the market, are as much a part of this vinyl revival as the hipsters buying records for the first time.