At Quartz, Dan Kopf tells the story of the perseverance of vinyl record sales through the COVID-19, writing:
It’s not often that a 19th century old technology makes a comeback. But that’s exactly what has happened to the phonograph record. After more than a decade of increasing sales, and the boom continuing through a pandemic, it’s safe to say it: Vinyl is back, baby.
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it wasn’t so clear the record industry would continue to thrive. As a physical good with a complicated manufacturing process, it seemed to be under more threat than streaming, the predominant way people now listen to music.
“The biggest issue [in the vinyl industry] is the broken supply chain,” said the Vinyl Alliance, a trade industry group in April 2020. Increasing shipping costs, a lack of live concerts at which to sell merchandise, and a slow down in new vinyl requests from musicians had record production and sales declining.
But the demand for vinyl records was too strong to keep the industry down. Manufacturing quickly got back to normal, and, in the US, 2020 unit sales are up over 17% from 2019. The appeal of the record, with its tangibility, beauty and history, just keeps on growing.
More here from Dan Kopf.