Over the past decade, we’ve seen a steady resurgence in the popularity of vinyl records. Rather peculiar as they seemed to be on death's door in the early 2000s, and although they had regained some popularity they were mainly relegated to hardcore fans and pretentious aficionados at that time. However, in 2019, vinyl records outsold CDs for the first time in 40 years and, analysts believe that we are yet to properly comprehend the breadth and depth of the vinyl resurgence. So today we’d like to ask “Why is vinyl suddenly so popular?” We’ve narrowed it down to a few main contributing factors.

It’s more tangible

As you can’t really ‘hold’ sound, tangibility is inherently difficult to attach to music. And yes – you can hold CDs but the whole experience is still fundamentally digital. With vinyl, you need to take the record out of the sleeve, place it on the turntable, set the needle down and listen to the cricks and the cracks before the music starts. The end result is an experience which is arguably less “convenient”, however, the extra steps add a layer of reverence to the listening experience as you sit down with the album sleeve and read into the art and the lyrics.

It’s exciting

The dawn of the Spotify age is a double-edged sword as, while I have every song I would ever want to listen to right here in my pocket, we’re all a little spoiled for choice. By giving the choice between literally almost every song ever you also cheapen the value of each one. This is where the above-mentioned tangibility rears it’s head again. By having to physically go outside, dig through a box find a record you know and like or, even better, a record you’ve never heard, but you think you might like, then take it home, put it on and wait to see what you got. This whole process can be seen as ‘investing’ in your collection and because you don’t have every song ever on that record, you’re more inclined to sit down and listen through just because you went through all that trouble.

It’s trendy

People will tell you that they buy vinyl because of the lossless audio quality, however, unless your willing to heavily invest in your sound system, you’re probably not going to get the most out it. However, by going to record shops, digging through the boxes, showing your cool finds to your other enthusiast friends adds an additional sense of accomplishment which you can then share on social media, thus perpetuating the cycle.

The truth is, we might never really know why the vinyl resurgence happened or when it started, as it grew gradually over the past decade and a half, and is consequently difficult to pinpoint. However, we’d like to end by flipping the script and asking “Why wasn’t it popular all along?”