In the last decade, vinyl records have been steadily making a comeback. Since the release of the iPod, CD sales have seen a steady decline due to the convenience of digital MP3 files. The same would have been assumed for the vinyl records industry, but despite the huge leap in music listening convenience, vinyl sales continue to soar. In this day and age, it’s a complete mystery why people are even bothering physically buying music.
Vinyl sales have made an impressive comeback, from under one million in 1993 to a staggering five-hundred million in 2015. With subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music it is now easier than ever to download and listen to all of your favorite artists, and for only a low monthly fee; vinyl’s popularity makes no sense. Maybe it’s the idea of physically owning an album, maybe it’s an effect of the hipster movement, or maybe it’s the nostalgia for the older music lovers. Whatever it is, the numbers show steady growth and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
So the question is, why vinyl records? Why not CDs? CDs take up much less space, are lighter, and almost everyone owns a CD player of some sort these days. If people wanted to physically own music, wouldn't that make more sense? I believe the answer to this is sound quality. Vinyl is an analog recording: meaning it’s the original sound from the tracks. There is a strong holding that vinyl is better because there is not digital conversion to compromise the sound of the record. Basically, a record can be closer to what the artist originally intended the track to sound like.
No matter what the reason behind the sudden rise in popularity of vinyl records, the numbers are up and so is demand. Despite all the innovation in music, listening technology that has and will occur, we have found a medium that is here to last. There is no telling what listening mediums will be available in the future, but it seems as though there will always be a vinyl copy available somewhere.