Buried deep in a report by Luminate on 2022 music buying, was the statistic that only 50% of people who purchase vinyl records even own turntables. What’s going on is that some people are buying records as keepsakes to have a physical connection to the artists and music they’re streaming. Besides being cool souvenirs, buying albums is a way for fans to support their favorite artists.
The 50% “no record player” number was shocking. My guess might have been that 10% of buyers bought records only as souvenirs. But let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to ask Siri or Alexa to play your favorite album than it is to get out a record, play it on a turntable, and flip it over halfway through. A stereo system like the one above costs about the same as three years of a music subscription service. Plus, records are not a portable music form.
The statistic doesn’t mean that half of all records bought go unused. People who have turntables buy a lot more records than those who don’t, and those records are being enjoyed.
No demographic statistics were given, but record company executives believe that some albums being bought as keepsakes are new releases by artists like Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, who had the two biggest selling albums of 2022. Classic albums by artists like The Beatles and Pink Floyd are probably getting played by fans who want to enjoy the original vinyl experience from when those albums were new.
According to the new report, Taylor Swift is the vinyl queen. She has the modern record (since 1991) for most vinyl sold for her Midnights album from October of 2022. It’s the first album in 35 years to sell more vinyl records than CD’s. Overall, Swift sold the most albums in all forms in 2022. Second place wasn’t close. That was Harry Styles, and Swift nearly tripled his sales. She had nine albums simultaneously in the Top 200 in 2022. Third place went to The Beatles, who had the Revolver remix release and their catalog of albums.
Music consumption in the U.S. was up 9.2% in 2022. Streaming accounts for a whopping 84% of music income.
Now, we just need to get turntables to some of the younger music fans.
(Photo & stereo by Mark Gallagher)
We’d be glad to show the younger generations how to set-up stereo systems and use them, as long as they’re willing to keep helping us with our phones and apps.