The vinyl: A collector’s item and “trendy”. Boom and distribution today.

Vinyl is one of those elements that millennials find ‘modern’, and the fact is that this format is on the rise; you only need to look at its overall impact on the music industry.

For sure, in the last few months we noticed how our favorite artist has released his latest LP in vinyl format, as well as being available on all streaming platforms.

It is becoming more and more common to see record players and sound equipment in large stores. Or we have a friend who is excited about starting a new vinyl collection, even buying special or second-hand editions.

The renowned American magazine Billboard published a report at the end of 2019 in which the main optimistic data regarding the industry is that 1.2 million vinyl records had been sold in the whole USA in just the last week of the year.

Nielsen Music in its global report highlights that 26% of all physical format sales in 2019 come from vinyl, with around 20 million units sold worldwide. This represents the thirteenth consecutive year of growth for the most iconic format for nostalgic people.

In the “Music Industry situation until 2019 and “era” COVID-19″ we already saw that vinyl is the only physical format that has experienced a growth in sales, billing around 8 million euros this past 2019 in Spain.

Which distribution channels are the most popular?

The music lover is the target responsible for this data, with both physical and online purchase choices.

  • Discogs

You’re probably already familiar with this platform. Discogs is the largest vinyl database, featuring an extensive collection of new releases, limited editions and a huge second-hand catalogue.

And not only that. Discogs is a marketplace where any user can buy and sell music in physical format, reaching 24 million references for sale. Yes, the closest thing to an Amazon, but just about music. Thanks to this platform, many of the endangered traditional stores have been able to display their catalogues at no cost to millions of users, making it easy to send them to our homes.

  • Record Fairs and Flea Markets

The multitudinous meetings of vinyl sellers that gathered in large markets have become less and more limited to those collectors with a high budget who are looking for a first edition of the most emblematic vinyl, or those nostalgic for the good times of the industry.

But even so, thanks to the Flea markets and small meetings that are still organized, the fairs are still a good way to expand your collection. In Barcelona and Madrid there is still an annual date when the Record Fair is held, in Estació del Nord and Hotel Atocha – Rafael Hoteles, respectively. If the COVID-19 allows it, the dates for 2020 are set for mid-May.

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Independent labels around the world have also resorted to this type of event. Independent Label Market is a project that serves as an umbrella for hundreds of independent record labels that make their mini-tour through Europe allowing each of them to be exhibited and giving voice to artists from the emerging underground scene.

  • Online stores of record labels and independent distributors.

Bands and artists of the emerging scene usually don’t have the vinyl production capacity to be on large online platforms, so it’s a good option to access the labels’ own pages behind these artists in order to buy their material in physical format. Also, let’s remember that this is the best way to support our local artists – not everyone can make a living from their live shows!

  • Vinyl Stores

Son muchísimas menos las que existen, pero si en nuestro barrio todavía quedan, There are far fewer of them, but if there are still some in our neighborhood, it’s always a good idea to spend the afternoon visiting them and picking up stuff you didn’t expect to find. Luckily for their survival, most of them have an online website to browse their catalogue, and even to purchase.

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