Many people are wondering, who buys vinyl records? Most people asking the question have their turntable safely tucked away, have given it away or sold it. When CDs came out in the 80s, they were touted as the next big thing technologically and everyone moved on. Market share of vinyl dropped steadily, and in the late 90s and early 2000s it was next to nothing. So who buys vinyl records these days, and why?
The Young Person Who Buys Vinyl Records
These people who haven’t even seen a vinyl record since the 80s are wondering who buys vinyl records because there has been increased chatter about vinyl. More and more people are turning to vinyl as the primary medium for purchasing music. The teens and twenty-somethings today are used to downloading their music cheaply and easily. This has been the most convenient method of obtaining music imaginable. At the same time, the convenience of mp3 downloading has put people out of touch with their music.
Rather than turning to CDs in their cheap plastic cases, young people are turning to vinyl with their big and colourful album art and its unique feel. Surprisingly for some, the inconvenience of vinyl has made the medium even more attractive, as instead of hitting play on an iPod they must flip an album halfway through and maintain its cleanliness. For some, the vinyl record has been about the return to the album format, with LPs providing the perfect way to sit down and enjoy an album as a work of art in itself, rather than a collection of songs.
The DJ Who Buys Vinyl Records
Vinyl records have always been a big part of DJing. The invention of hip hop music coincided with the beginnings of ‘turntablism’, the art of using a turntable to supplement or make music by adding in scratches and other sounds.
Sadly, the role of vinyl records in the DJ scene has decreased over the years. DJing is a popular activity that plenty of people want to have a try at, and vinyl quite simply provides the most expensive way of getting in to it. Compared to DJing with CDs (called CDJ), or DJing with a laptop, buying turntables and vinyl is hugely more expensive.
There are definitely vinyl purist DJs out there who insist that turntables will always be the ultimate DJ medium. Pressing play and having a program mix for you is completely different to the skill involved in manual DJing, and many music lovers will appreciate an ‘analogue’ DJ more than a digital one.
The Golden Oldie Who Buys Vinyl Records
The smallest group of people who buy vinyl records? The people who were alive when they were in their heyday. Very few older people have the time or desire to go back to a more inconvenient medium. Especially when CD collections have been built up over years and turntables are long since gone or forgotten.
There are certainly people out there of all ages that buy vinyl records, however. Many of these older generation types like vinyl records for exactly the same reason younger people do, but they have one extra factor that Generation Y does not – nostalgia. Nostalgics have benefited from increased vinyl and turntable sales, since snapping up records cheaply and playing them just like old times has become easier and more affordable.
The Audiophile Who Buys Vinyl Records
Vinyl audiophiles (hi-fi enthusiasts) proclaim that vinyl is a superior medium to anything digital. The detail provided by a high quality turntable and cartridge will outstrip anything a CD or FLAC file can throw at you.
Turntables often sound ‘more musical’ than digital formats, and generally sound more warm. Turntables are more customisable than CD players which suits tinkerers well – customising a wooden plinth, for example, is a regular project undertaken by audiophiles wanting that extra 1% improvement in sound quality. There is no consensus on the best medium for music, and largely it will depend on personal preference. A large portion of the audiophile community profess their undying love for vinyl and will never give in to digital pressure.
This article was probably not enough to convince you to buy vinyl records again if you haven’t even though about the format for years. But in terms of who buys vinyl records, there are certainly plenty of people out there and their numbers are growing.