Until working on this story, I didn’t know what Vinyl was. I did not have a care for the old media sources past the era of CD’s. It was not until I started talking to these people that work with them for a living that I really understood how big of an impact vinyl has put on music even till today. Vinyl started off in the 1880’s, and really took over in the early 1910’s. Records retained the largest market share even when new formats such as the compact cassette were mass-marketed. Fast forward to the 1980’s, starting in the form of compact discs, digital media had gained a larger market share, and that’s how vinyl records lost their title as the mainstream source. For the next 30 years, they were still being produced at a much, much smaller scale.
Vinyl, initially, initialized it’s comeback starting with hipsters in their 20s and early 30s, looking to find a way to differentiate their music listening. Albums were old school, filled with hisses and pops that digital music had erased. But those flaws added a depth and comfortable feeling to the music that even people who once owned these forgotten pieces had moved on after years of listening to digital music. In the year 2015, sales of vinyl records were up 32% to $416 million, their highest level since 1988, according to the RIAA- the Recording Industry Association of America.
With that being said, Vinyl is appearing in places we would have never expected in this day’s age. Vinyl is no longer solely the domain of independent record stores, as it’s being sold off shelves from retail stores everywhere. Chains like Barnes & Noble, Urban Outfitters and even Whole Foods now carry albums. Vinyl listeners typically give a similar answer on why they still listen to them. “The sound isn’t the same digitally.” Or “I prefer my generation’s streaming source.” Although it was a trend at first to bring vinyl back, many firmly believe that this form of media is here to stay, and will be introduced to younger generations, not just the ones that grew up with it in the first place.