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Younger music fans are driving the revitalization of the vinyl market

The decline of digital music sales may have been a surprise to many, although it shouldn’t when you look at how popular streaming services are, but the revitalization of the vinyl market was the music industry’s biggest surprise of 2014. But what’s driving this revitalization? Well, as it turns out, it isn’t older consumers looking for a bit of nostalgic music listening, it’s mostly music fans under the age of 35. 

By now you’re likely aware of the big resurgence in vinyl sales that’s taken place in recent years. But who are these rabid record consumers pushing the needle in one small corner of the declining music industry? Largely, music fans under 35. A recent study from MusicWatch (via Billboard) found this younger crowd is responsible for 72 percent of all vinyl sales. The figure is significantly higher than the age group’s overall music spending habits: fans 35 and under make up just 44 percent of the “music marketplace” according to The NPD Group. As we reported in January, 2014 vinyl record sales were at their highest since 1990 amounting to 9.2 million, according to Nielsen Music. The revival is so significant that vinyl demand has outstripped pressing plants’ capacity, resulting in months-long backorder for new pressings, and spawning new and expanded record pressing plants.

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