By KYLE THOMAS
KENNESAW, Ga. – Vinyl is surging back to prominence and becoming the number one way to listen to music.
The question is why? Why is vinyl becoming so popular again? Is it because younger generations have grown up in a digital era of music and now are craving something tangible? Vinyl is becoming the format of choice for millions of people.
John Connor is the owner and manager of Metamodern Music, located in downtown Woodstock, Georgia .
“The main thing people should understand about the record industry is that it never went away,” Connor said.
People initially ditched their vinyl collections when CDs became popular, but the vinyl industry managed to move on without them and still stay relevant, he said.
Most of the customers in the store on a recent afternoon were under the age of 25. He said young people are enthusiastic about vinyl.
“It’s something physical in your hands, instead of just being able to click a button,” said Connor. “Now I think the kids are just getting tired of having MP3s because they don’t sound as good, and I think the vintage aspect appeals to them and that it’s more fun.”
Music sales in general are down, but vinyl is the only part of music industry where sales have gone up. They went up 52 percent last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
CDs seem like the next form of music media that will slowly die out.
Just recently, new re-pressings of certain records came with a digital download code, so you can still have a digital form that will allow you to add the music to your iTunes. This feature almost eliminates the need to have an actual CD, especially since most current cars come with Bluetooth stereos.
Robin Lawrence, a passionate vinyl collector, has over a thousand records. Lawrence said he thought the popularity of vinyl records “will keep going. They are in the process right now, but the problem they are having is that there aren’t enough manufacturing plants for records.”
Lawrence said that listening to a record is an experience that can’t be duplicated.
“It is the next best thing other than going to a live show. It’s the best form of audio, where the music feels like it’s being played in the room you’re in,” said Lawrence.
The millennial generation grew up mainly just listening to hits or singles on streaming websites.
“If a record is purchased it’s because the one who purchases it is buying it for its entirety. He/she wants the whole story not just a song,” said Lawrence.
Whether it’s just something tangible or it’s the ultimate listening experience, vinyl appears to be back for years to come.