Business News Labels & Publishers Retail

Young music fans lead in vinyl purchases

By | Published on Monday 22 April 2013


Ahead of Saturday’s Record Store Day festivities, research firm ICM last week published a new piece of research that showed that 18-24 year olds account for a higher number of vinyl purchasers than 25-34 and 35-44 year old consumers.

Of the 2030 consumers ICM interviewed, 5% said they had bought music on vinyl in the last month, though 14% of 18-24 year olds had, compared to 9% of 25-35 and 5% of 35-44 year olds. Which is possibly surprising given younger music fans are meant to be listening to crappy MP3s on smartphones via overpriced Beats headphones.

Some of those buying vinyl records cited “a much fuller organic sound” as their motivation, though – backing up anecdotal accounts we’ve heard before – a quarter admitted that they wouldn’t listen to the music they’d bought via the vinyl record, preferring digital options for listening, but liking having a vinyl collection on their shelves.

The majority of vinyl purchasers were buying archive material second hand and, while websites exist for such things, 85% said they preferred to buy from their local record shop, which was a nice bit of news with which to lead into Record Store Day. Though do remember with all these vinyl revival stats, while the percentages always sound impressive, overall unit sales are still rather modest.

Commenting on the research, ICM’s Maurice Fyles told reporters: “Our research shows that independent record stores are driving and fulfilling a growing demand for music on vinyl – from new limited editions to second hand collectibles. With the closure of many branches of HMV some might expect that demand for music shops and physical formats are declining – our research rejects this”.

He continued: “Rather, when there is so much music available to buy or download online, people’s needs from the high street record store have changed. Independent record stores offer a diverse, interesting and rare range of music – and that seems to be the key to their continued survival. It’s a real sign that our high street is evolving to changing consumer needs, and that other local independent retailers can take encouragement from this story”.