|Photo: Hannah Ellis-Petersen|
|A man browses records for sale in Bristol. Supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco now also stock records.|
Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
It was once a pastime dominated by audiophile dads and nostalgic hipsters. But last week, for the first time in history, the amount of money spent on vinyl records in the UK overtook that spent on digital downloads.
Vinyl sales hit £2.4m last week compared with the £2.1m made from digital music purchases, further proof that record shopping has gone mainstream.
The interest in buying a physical format of music on vinyl has experienced a resurgence in the past 12 months. This time last year, the sale of vinyl albums reached £1.2m while digital sales were £4.4m.
Vinyl has also experienced eight consecutive years of growth, despite almost dying out around 2006.
Kim Bayley, chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association, attributed the surge in part to the number of places now selling records across the UK. An increasing number of vinyl-only record shops have opened, while supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco, and even high street interiors shop Tiger, now stock records, making them easily accessible.
Bayley said vinyl had experienced a particular boost in the past week because it was becoming an increasingly popular choice for Christmas presents.
“The vast majority of releases are coming out in vinyl now,” said Bayley. “It used to be that only heritage acts or niche albums would come out as a record, but now everything does – pop albums, compilations, film soundtracks, all genres.”
The top 10 records sold this week speak to the variety of people now buying vinyl. Kate Bush, Amy Winehouse and Busted are in the chart, alongside the Guardian of the Galaxy film soundtrack and Now That’s What I Call Christmas compilation album.
Bayley added: “We have a new generation buying vinyl, lots of teenagers and lots of people under 25, who now want to buy their favourite artists on vinyl and have something a bit more tangible, a bit more collectible. People have become keen to support their favourite artists by buying into that ownership concept. It’s very difficult to demonstrate your love of an artist if you don’t have something to hold on to.”
Sean Forbes, who manages record shop Rough Trade West in London, which has been selling vinyl since 1979, said there was a “massive increase” in people buying vinyl and that new racks had been put in all Rough Trade shops to meet demand.
|By Harriet Gibsone, Guardian's music news editor|
Source: The Guardian