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The insane resurgence of vinyl records

The Hustle: Vinyl has reclaimed its throne as the most-popular physical music format. But can the industry meet the demand? – Long before the days of Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, vinyl records were all the rage. In the 1970s, vinyl sales peaked at 530m units/year and accounted for 66% of all music format revenues. Every kid worth his or her weight had bulky copies of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Rumours, and The Dark Side of the Moon. But as new formats emerged, the vinyl market virtually evaporated. Revenue fell from $2.5B to just $10m/year. And by the ‘90s, vinyl sales dipped to <10m units — a mere 0.1% of market share. In recent years, though, something odd has happened: Vinyl has made a small but mighty comeback. Fueled largely by millennial hipsters under the age of 35, the old, outdated format has risen from the dead. In an age of fleeting digital pleasures, vinyl has quenched a thirst for tangible assets. For each of the past 15 years, sales of new vinyl have gradually increased. In the first half of 2021 alone, 17m albums were sold — an 86% jump from 2020. In an extremely rare twist, an old technology came back to surpass a newer one…”

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