Under-25s are behind a surge in vinyl sales

19/04/13

Record shop

Under 25-year-olds are the driving force behind the surge in sales for vinyl records over the past five years.

Research by ICM suggests 18 to 24-year-olds are buying more vinyl records than any other age group under 50.

It comes as record shops prepare to celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday.

Hundreds of musicians are releasing one-off singles and albums to encourage fans to buy music in their local record shop.

Spencer Hickman is one of the organisers of Record Store Day in the UK.

He said: "It's like so many kids now coming into record stores, when you have Arctic Monkeys saying, 'We go to record shops, we buy vinyl', you can't ask for anything more than that."

At one shop in east London, 19-year-old Alex is pricing up stock for Record Store Day, he explained why he buys vinyl: "The thing about playing a CD is you put it in, press the button and it plays.

"This sounds a bit corny but the artist has put so much effort in with vinyl you have to get it out of its sleeve, put the needle on and I think it's respectful."

Sales increase

Foals, Jake Bugg and Everything Everything are just some of the artists who are involved.

Tom Odell's releasing a special EP and he says although vinyl is more expensive, he loves the experience of going to his local record shop: "It becomes more of an experience buying a record.

"You go, search for the records, talk to the staff, they say, 'Why don't you get this as well?'."

According to the BPI, in 2012, 389,000 vinyl records were sold, with The xx's Coexist being the year's biggest seller.

The total sales figures are small compared to the combined sales of CDs and downloads which amounts to more then twenty million.

But sales of vinyl have increased steadily since 2004 and at the moment that shows no sign of changing.

tom
Image caption Ben Grant, 18, goes to record shops because he likes the personal service

Music on vinyl is more expensive than buying a CD or a download and it can make a lot of money for record labels.

So it is important for musicians and their labels to have shops to sell them in.

Eighteen-year-old Ben says he fell in love with vinyl when he went into a record shop abroad, now he has more than one hundred records.

"There's something you don't get online which is the kind of personal service of having things recommended" Ben explained. "You feel like you own the music as opposed to having it virtually."

Sales of digital music continues to increase but Spencer Hickman feels there is room for both: "For years you've heard people say, 'Digital's the way'. There is room for both to exist, I think vinyl offers something completely different to digital or CD."

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