Passenger car sales may be up on blocks because of COVID, but according to recent findings by the data-collection giant Statista, U.S. vinyl sales in 2020 jumped 46% from the same period in 2019. That’s a pretty impressive gain, considering the extra time and difficulty in ordering many things during lockdowns and restrictions.
Vinyl Sales in 2020 Were Not an Anomaly
Before the pandemic, some businesses were only experiencing modest or negligible growth before COVID lockdowns gave them a shot in the arm (no vaccine pun intended). Yet that was not the case for vinyl sales. Where critics continued to say that vinyl was a dead medium and any vinyl sales were a mere nostalgic blip on the music industry radar, Statista reports that vinyl sales have steadily posted gains for the past 15 years. In other words, a lot of critics simply did not do their homework.
Why the Sales Jump in 2020?
Certainly, the nostalgia market accounts for some of the vinyl sales spike in 2020. Yet speculation about other sales ties to the psychology of physical products like vinyl as they relate to connection and isolation. Even in situations that do not involve pandemics and lockdowns, people can experience a feeling of isolation and desire for connection to something tangible. Vinyl—tactile in nature as something you can hold in your hands—provide a rich sense of connection relative to the music streaming experience. Speculation is that COVID isolation simply kicked vinyl connection up a notch.
Even if speculations are wrong, vinyl proves one thing (if nothing else). Even in the face of a pandemic, which delivered a piledriver to the music industry, nothing can keep music down, and music will come back for one simple reason.
Music will always live and grow, even against the naysayers, and vinyl proves it.
So, here’s to vinyl. And here’s to you and the music you love, just as resilient.
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