Research shows music streaming helps vinyl sales

New research suggests that vinyl sales are being increased by music streaming. A poll carried out by ICM Unlimited indicates that half of the people buying vinyl first listened to the songs on a music streaming site, such as Soundcloud or Spotify. Humorously, 7% of those polled do not even own a turntable on which to play the vinyl.

In 2014, 2.1 million LPs were sold, representing a 21-year high. Figures released by the Official Charts Company suggest that LP sales have continued to rise in 2016 with 637,056 records (3% of the UK music market) being sold in the first three months of the year.

Some of the reasons given for buying music on vinyl include:

  • For decoration
  • A sense of old-school vibe
  • To be included in a collection
  • It's something you can physically hold and play
  • Financial support for musicians
  • Owning an actual copy of the music, rather than a hosted copy for which you only have a right to play
  • A belief vinyl offers better quality than digital

The research does show, however, that 73% of music is now bought online. Amazon is the most popular online retailer with 27% of all sales, followed by iTunes, which has 18% of market share. Supermarkets make up 10% of sales and high street record stores account for just 7%.

Andrew Wiseman, head of ICM Unlimited, said that “It is still the case that less than 1 in 10 people are buying vinyl, and we shouldn't forget that it's still a relatively small part of the market.

The research suggests that men are more likely to visit a record shop, although there has been an increase of women doing so. The most biggest age group buying vinyl are those aged between 25-34 (34%); this is followed by the 35-44 group (22%), then 45-54 (18%), 18-24 (16%), and finally those aged between 55-64 (10%).

Source: BBC News

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