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Vinyl music sales are spinning once again

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/01/2017

Vinyl record sales are booming in the UK again because they help build a more personal connection to the music, a Kiwi researcher says.

According to figures compiled by the British Phonographic Industry, more than 3.2 million vinyl LPs sold in the UK last year, a 53 per cent rise on 2015.

It is the ninth consecutive year British demand for vinyl has increased and the highest amount of sales since Simply Red's Stars topped the best-seller charts in 1991.

To study the revival, University of Auckland associate professor of marketing Karen Fernandez has teamed up with an Australian researcher to interview 25 vinyl collectors from New Zealand, the UK and USA.

Most were passionate male collectors in their 20s and 30s, with one man even writing a wedding vow for his wife that she would never make him stop collecting.

Such passion comes, not just from a love of the sound of vinyl, but because record buyers meet people and hear their stories when shopping, Dr Fernandez said.

One woman in the study bought a record from a man, which had a scratch caused by the seller's young son, who had since died.

"Every time the needle jumped, he would remember his son," Dr Fernandez said.

"So the woman took on being the keeper of this scratch, every time she heard it she'd remember the man's son."

The study participants also said they had a stronger connection with physical collections rather than digital music and that finding obscure vinyl records was harder and therefore more rewarding, Dr Fernandez said.

"People do value something more when they've put some personal effort into it."

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