Today vinyl fans can rejoice as the annual ‘Record Store Day’ comes around once more.
Starting in the US in2007 by record store employee Chris Brown; on the third Saturday of April every year, record fans around the world get together to celebrate the ‘art of music’.
Today hundreds of musicians and independent artists will be releasing records and one off singles / albums in an attempt to encourage people to support their local record shops.
This year artists such as Frank Turner, Jake Bugg and Foals are taking part and releasing a vinyl copy of their music exclusively for the day.
With only a few thousand of each copy available, the rarity of the copy adds to the appeal of the day.
While in recent years there has been a surge in downloads, with the UK hitting the billion downloads mark a few weeks ago (there has also been a sharp increase in the level of vinyl sales.
Since 2004, sales of vinyl records have slowly been on the rise; and in 2012 alone 389,000 vinyl records were sold. This is an increase of 15.3% compared to the 2011 sales.
Last year Coexist by the XX was the highest selling vinyl record. This was closely followed by David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, which was re-released to commemorate the albums 40th anniversary.
While the sales only account to a tiny fraction of CD and downloads, it shows promise in the age of the digital revolution.
Earlier on this week, research made by ICM suggested that those aged between 18 – 24 are behind the current levels of vinyl sales. This is the biggest group of buyers under 50 years old.
Part of the appeal of vinyl records is the physical experience, a factor that is lost through the click of a button on music download services.
As a result of online competition, music and film store HMV was one of the most recent casualties of the digital revolution. However independent record shops are fighting back, and proving that there is still a place form vinyl records in 2013.
While the sales do not reach the scale of it’s download competitors, it is safe to say that vinyl is still going strong and certainly shows no sign of slowing down.