Back in the early 2000s, the music industry had little idea that a vinyl resurgence was coming. In the early 2010s, they were slow to understand the nuances between streaming, physical ownership, and retro demand that emerged. And despite a near-decade of continued growth, surprising statistics about this newfound market are continuing to surface. That includes new information on just how much used vinyl is being purchased, most of which isn’t being counted.
Slowly, a picture of what’s driving this vinyl resurgence is emerging, with lots of curious surprises. The data doesn’t lie, and polls now show that a substantial number of vinyl buyers are in their 20s, while a massive percentage of younger buyers don’t even own turntables.
Even more surprising is the growing link between streaming music and vinyl purchases, one that includes free (or ad-supported) streaming on platforms like Spotify and YouTube. The Jack Black, Hi Fidelity curator is now an obsolete snob, because every single song on the planet (basically) exists online, or, on your phone, and all of that is leading to greater purchases of LPs.
Now, research is uncovering lots of interesting details about used vs. new product. According to data shared by research firm MusicWatch with Digital Music News this morning, a comfortable majority of vinyl sales are for used LPs, not newly-created product. The existence of a massive used market has been recognized for some time, though research group MusicWatch actually went out and started polling consumers to figure out the breakdowns. That research initiative not only revealed that most vinyl being bought is used, but that an interesting ‘dual market’ of buyers has emerged.