Vinyl Records and the Art of Analog Passion

How Vinyl Deeply Connects Artists and Music Fans

My daughters came of age in the iTunes era. They spent hundreds of dollars per year on digital singles and compiled large playlists on their iPods. Even so I wasn’t sure the singles orientation of downloading was helping them make deep connections with artists- the kind of connection I had grown up with thanks to listening to vinyl and CDs.

But the widely-noted resurgence in vinyl sales has changed connections with music – in ways that are proving meaningful to fans of all ages and generations.  For younger buyers it’s the excitement of that first time watching a needle flow through a record groove. For my generation it’s rediscovering the  joy of reading through liner notes. We learned this from a recent MusicWatch study, “Revelations of The Vinyl Revolution” conducted in March of 2022 among 1,200 vinyl buyers and listeners.

What makes the relationship between artists and vinyl buyers so special? We examined 38 reasons why fans buy vinyl. One in three active vinyl buyers reported buying vinyl because “I want to support the artists by actually buying their music”; 71 percent of vinyl buyers found that owning music validated their appreciation of artists. While the COVID pandemic crippled many artists’ ability to record and tour, an estimated 1.5 million vinyl buyers said they purchased even more vinyl to support artists to make up for that loss.

We also found that vinyl purchases are often powered by streaming. One in four vinyl buyers say they’ll hear something on streaming and then want to own it in vinyl.  A healthy music ecosystem thrives when one format facilitates discovery for another, and offers more choice for expressing fanship.

The fan support for artists doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Fans see that artists, labels and retailers get behind the format. Fifty-seven (57) percent of buyers agree that “seeing or hearing artists and record labels embrace vinyl really makes me feel like I should support the format”.  Artists and musicians are by far the top influencers (68 percent cited) when buyers use social and video platforms to help discover vinyl records.

The age of streaming audio has brought us unparalleled access to music with connectivity and value that was unimaginable just a generation ago. And many of us assumed that convenience  would fully displace the pleasures of collecting physical music. In my wildest dreams I’d not have envisioned that an analog format, once nearly left for dead, would be a magnet giving fans new ways to support and appreciate artists they love.

For more information about the “Revelations About the Vinyl Revolution” study, reach out to us at


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