Vinyl records: how they are back in fashion, also thanks to social media

Vinyl records: how they are back in fashion, also thanks to social media

Vinyl records

Musical genres evolve, but the tools to listen to them go back to their origins. Vinyl reappeared in the entertainment market first as a niche pastime, but now they can also boast a commercial success. The vinyl record market has experienced a steady increase in sales over the past decade, peaking at 41 million albums sold in 2022 in the United States alone. But why are vinyl records so fashionable again? Internet and social media trends may have had a decisive influence on the return to the use of turntables and needles.

The increase in vinyl records in the United States

Record sales in Vinyl outsold CDs in the US for the first time since 1987, according to a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 2022, just over 41 million vinyl records were sold, amounting to $1.2 billion, while only 33 million CDs were sold, amounting to $483 million. It was the 16th consecutive year of growth in vinyl sales, which now account for 71% of physical format music revenues. In short, if American listeners have to buy a product to listen to music, they prefer the "old" lp or ep. A trend that is also noticeable in Europe in recent years: the Technavio agency estimates that the vinyl record market in Europe will reach up to 91 million dollars in 2024, with England, Germany and Italy leading the list.

Streaming still remains the preferred method for casual listeners and Generation Z, but revenue for physical music formats has grown steadily over the years, marked by a notable rebound in 2021 after being muted by Covid-19 in 2020. The renewed interest is also being exploited by artists and record companies: not only has it now become customary for singers and groups to release their new works on vinyl, but a world-famous band like Metallica has decided to invest in one of the largest vinyl pressing companies in the United States: Furnace Record Pressing, a leading supplier of high quality vinyl records and related services.


The Role of Social Media

The increase in LP sales coincided with the spread of social media and this is no coincidence. In fact, social media has helped create a community of vinyl enthusiasts. Groups and pages dedicated to vinyl have become increasingly common, giving fans a place where they can share their experiences, showcase their collections and exchange tips on how to find the rarest records. This community has helped spread the passion for vinyl and has also helped attract new enthusiasts to join the movement.

Additionally, social media has served to reinforce the ritual of listening to vinyl. Many enthusiasts enjoy the ritual of taking out a disc, cleaning it, and placing it on the platform. Sharing photos and videos of the process on social media has helped build a sense of community around this ritual, while showing other enthusiasts how it works. Finally, social media has enabled record retailers to reach a larger customer base. In recent years, many small labels and record stores have used the various platforms to promote their products. This has allowed fans to discover new record labels and shops, as well as appreciate the better quality of sound coming from turntables and a taste for organizing records as collectables and designs. Thus it can be argued that social media has had a major impact on the vinyl renaissance: it has become a more social and shared experience, which has made it even more attractive to music fans around the world. Now, there are even sales to prove it.