April 15, 2015
New research points to a healthy outlook for vinyl demand.
A report released by research firm ICM confirms 18-24 year olds continue to drive the renewed interest in vinyl but that older fans are rediscovering the format and dusting off their turntables.
Overall vinyl demand is buoyant with 7% of people buying vinyl last month, up 2% from 2013. Dissecting the demand by age group the reports reveals that one in five 18-24 year olds bought vinyl last month, a spike from 14% from last year; and 11% of 25-34 year olds bought records over the same period, up from 9% in 2013.
“We’ve been talking to consumers about their music purchasing behaviour for three years now and during that time we have seen a real resurgence in the appetite for vinyl,” says Maurice Fyles, Research Director at ICM Unlimited. “Fans of all genres are buying new and second-hand vinyl online and on the high street.”
A key finding of the research is the spike in interest amongst 35-44 year olds. Playing vinyl has more than doubled for this age bracket since 2013 when 6% used their record players: now the figure is 14%. This growth stems from a combination of getting an old turntable out of the loft or garage and buying a brand new one.
Research from ICM continues to show that many people buy records but never get them out of the sleeve: amazingly 34% of vinyl buyers don’t own or don’t actually use a turntable. One fifth of consumers have turntables that aren’t set up or are kept in storage while 4% of people buying records don’t actually own turntables at all.
The report credits YouTube as a gateway to music sales with one in three people across all age groups using the site to find new music. According to Fyles: “It [YouTube] is used as a virtual library for every track, band, and style of music before buyers’ part with their cash. And once people decide what they want, as well as the major retailers – Amazon, the supermarkets and HMW – websites like eBay and Discogs are meeting the demand for limited edition, rare and second-hand releases on vinyl and other physical formats.”
For the first time the research investigated genre sales with the results indicating that specialist genres like blues, hiphop, jazz, folk and reggae perform especially well on vinyl. Overall, pop music comes out on top with 51% of the share, followed by rock at 41%.
Maurice Fyles: “For vinyl fans the format offers the chance to collect limited and luxury editions, and enjoy the sleeve artwork and a different listening experience. The music industry has responded to the vinyl revival by launching a brand new vinyl-only chart.”