The recently celebrated Record Store Day is held annually on a Saturday in the middle of April. The day was created and celebrates the unique culture of the independent record store. With famous artists such as Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne and The White Stripes acting as ambassadors for the day, vinyl enthusiasts flock to local record stores to purchase EPs, LPs and a number of records and special editions released in short runs specifically for Record Store Day.
“But vinyl records have been out of vogue since CDs took over in the early 80’s!”
Actually… Sales of vinyl have been steadily increasing rapidly and consistently for years, with sales figure reaching a 25 year high this year. Vinyl DJs appear to be the core of the consumers purchasing the records, but a resurgence in popularity of analog equipment and physical media has seen the almost forlorn platform u-turn and skyrocket in popularity.
The simple nature of being able to see and hold a physical vehicle for an album is worth the difference in price ($15 for an MP3 or CD album vs >$30 for the same album pressed to vinyl) for the new wave of record buyers. To achieve similar results in terms of quality between MP3 and vinyl records, listeners will have to invest in high quality (and expensive, and bulky) turntables, amplifiers and speakers/headphones, meaning that collecting and listening to vinyl is by no means an inexpensive or convenient hobby, but the lack of need for a screen or internet connection is selling point enough here.
While the actual act of listening to music has been de-digitalised, the marketing of the records has never been more prominent online, with dedicated forums, Instagram pages and Facebook groups appearing constantly for people to learn about, buy, sell and trade their records, as well as simply appreciating the eye-catching shine of black vinyl. By carefully treading the line between the analog and digital realms, marketers can still effectively communicate to an audience, without further pushing them away from 21st century technology.