Why Do People Still Buy Vinyl Records?

Why Do People Still Buy Vinyl Records? The Retro Craze Explained

Children of prior eras of music will tell tales of pulling out a record, blowing off the dust, and placing the needle on the edge. After pressing the play button, these enthusiasts are brought back to another time in their childhood. But, for some music fans, the time is now as their preferred band releases a vinyl edition of their album. This brings us to our question: why do people still buy vinyl records?

Vinyl records are purchased because they are a unique way of listening to music. Some get a cool art piece to support their favorite artist, while others are collectors, gathering music from their favorite era (where vinyl was the standard)

The reasons why people buy vinyl vary heavily. So below, you’ll find out why vinyl is still popular and why it’s made such a stellar comeback.

6 Reasons Why Vinyl is Still A Beloved Musical Medium

Vinyl is beloved, even in this world where you can get music with the tap of a finger.

Everyone has their own feelings and reasoning toward music, affecting how they consume it. Whether that’s from a cranky old record player needing a bit of TLC or a brand new set of AirPods, there’s no “wrong” way to do it.

Here are just a few reasons why people are still keeping record stores in business by buying vinyl records: 

1. The Nostalgia: Taking A Trip Down Memory Lane

Simply put, many people still buy vinyl records because that’s what they grew up listening to, and it reminds them of their younger years. This is a great reason to invest in records. 

There’s nothing like grabbing a record of your favorite music from middle or high school and listening to it as you did in the 1960s or 1970s. That bittersweet nostalgic feeling takes you right back to those moments and is reason enough for many people to love it. 

2. Unique Listening Experience 

Listening to music on vinyl is an experience. It is remarkably different from listening on a streaming platform, cassette, or CD. 

The biggest difference is the sound isn’t perfect. You may hear crackling or other blips thanks to the physical imperfections of the vinyl, but it just adds to the overall listening experience for most vinyl lovers. But, the crackling is a sign you need to clean or repair your vinyl.

Music on vinyl sounds the most like the song is meant to sound. The music has nuance and depth as it reaches different parts of the song. Whereas digital versions of songs tend to normalize all of the sounds (especially with the lower-quality MP3 format), vinyl almost highlights the highs and lows of the music. 

3. Building a Collection

Vinyl records are a serious collector’s item. Artists across many genres and decades have an impressive collection of music recorded on vinyl. For music superfans and antique collectors, these records can almost feel like a sport to collect over the years. 

Whether trying to complete a collection of every album Elvis Presley ever released on vinyl in pristine condition or just to find the vinyl version of obscure albums you love, sometimes buying vinyl is as simple as completing or creating a new collection for yourself. 

4. Directly Supporting Your Favorite Artist

When you buy a new vinyl record from Amazon or a music store, the artist gets a portion of the price you paid for that physical record. Most of the time, this commission is significantly more than the same artist would get if you just download their album on your favorite streaming platform. 

The music industry today does not support artists as much as it used to, so many music lovers feel strongly about supporting artists they love in this way. It’s a great way to show appreciation for your favorite artist or band by putting your money in their pocket as a thank-you for creating the music you love. 

5. Relaxing Experience 

There’s just something about putting on a vinyl record and sitting back on a comfy couch with a cocktail or a cup of tea and listening. The whole experience can transport you out of your current reality and into the world of music. 

Listening to a record feels so much more involved with selecting the record, putting it on the record player, flipping through the liner notes, and just taking in the depth of the music. It’s an incredible way to relax and decompress.

6. Collecting Art (Album Covers)

Some people buy vinyl purely for their art collection. The vinyl cover art tends to get some extra love, as creating a vinyl record is a special process.

Sometimes, the art goes on vinyl, which is the case with colored records. The entire thing is an experience, creating something beautiful that begins with art (buying the record) and ends with art (taking it out to listen to beautiful music).

Does Music Sound Better On Vinyl?

Avid vinyl purists will tell you that music sounds better on vinyl. And, for the most part, they are right, most of the music made would sound better on vinyl.

But, digital music has the potential to sound better because of different file types. Namely, MP3 files are incredibly common and low quality. However, FLAC files (which aren’t available on most streaming services) are incredibly detailed.

Given that most listeners aren’t audiophiles, FLAC files aren’t popular. They are also too big to justify keeping on computers with limited space. Tidal is the only streaming service that stores FLAC files.

Digital files might also sound clearer because you don’t need to “clean” your files like you do a record. These imperfections are part of what makes vinyl so appealing.

Guitar solos almost sound live, elegant crescendos can be felt in your chest, and the warmth of the music can be felt when you listen to a record. 

Why are Vinyl Records So Popular Today?

The vinyl business has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years. Eclectic music shops are seeing foot traffic that they haven’t seen in years, and even young people are asking where the record section is in local stores. 

Although some people are just buying vinyl because it’s “trendy,” like band graphic tee shirts or old movies, many people just want the days of a simple music listening experience back. 

Although streaming services have made listening to music more convenient and easy than ever, that instant gratification mentality has driven many people the other way. We are seeing this in so many different areas where the fast-paced nature of our society is making many people crave simpler times. 

Many people miss holding the physical album in their hands, reading the lyrics or dedication inside the cover, putting something on the record player, and waiting for the first few notes of their favorite song to start. 

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