Vinyl record sales increase for 11 consecutive years, despite popularity of digital downloads
Neilsen ratings show sales are hitting a groove, and increasing for the eleventh consecutive year in a row.
Paul LePree is a Guestroom Records regular. He owns thousands of records.
"There is a sense of nostalgia tied into them, but I also like the tactile, physical product and to look at the art," he said. "They make me happy."
The record resurgence in Louisville and around the world comes as no surprise to him or to any other music lover in the store.
"They maintain some air of collectability, and their value stays pretty high on them," Guestroom Records owner Travis Searle said.
"They sound better to me," store manager Lisa Foster said.
Experts say vinyl records are becoming a $1 billion industry. Nielsen ratings show sales are hitting a groove, increasing in 2016 for the eleventh consecutive year.
Searle attributes a small part of the vinyl revival to Record Store Day, which is the one day of the year when thousands of participating record stores worldwide stock their shelves with limited edition releases.
"Record Store day started in 2007, and since then, the industry has just been booming every single year,” Searle said.
Hundreds stood in line on Record Store Day at Guestroom Records on April 22 this year.
“It was nuts. It's basically the equivalent of a month of sales in a day,” he said.
Music charts show the tables have turned, and vinyl sales are growing so much that more money was spent on vinyl records than on digital downloads in a recent week in the United Kingdom. However, that doesn’t include streaming services, and it’s important to note vinyl albums are more expensive than digital downloads.
"There are those vinyl purists that insist that a record sounds better than an MP3," LePree said.
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