The vinyl revival – 2023

UK Vinyl Sales 2023

The vinyl revival is alive and kicking as the latest figures from the British Phonographic Industry confirm in December 2023.

Sales of vinyl in the UK have hit the highest level since 1990 with 5.9 million units increasing for the 16th year in a row.

Repairing old hifi equipment I’ve had a fair number of turntables in for repair over the year along with people saying they’re getting back into vinyl.

My local town of Stroud has three secondhand record shops, so the demand is there.

Sales of cassettes were 100,000 units for the fourth year in a row.

For cassettes that’s pretty insignificant in terms of the UK population, but considering pre-recorded cassettes never sounded very good in the first place they’re hanging on.

This is a 40 second video of an old Pioneer cassette deck I repaired playing a tape I put onto YouTube. It’s been surprisingly popular.

Cassettes met their doom when music shifted to CD as the sound quality was far better, although CDs were expensive back then at about £15 a pop.

CD pretty much killed off vinyl as well, I took about 100 vinyl albums to the local tip!

Why are these old formats so popular? Nobody seems to quite know as it depends on which expert gets asked.

My take is there’s two camps, the HiFi fans that strive for quality and prefer vinyl and the other that just wants something different, more organic if you like and to get away from the big tech algorithm that controls the visibility of just about everything on the Internet.

Local bands for example can fairly easily put their music on physical media for distribution to their fans that want it in that format as well as upload it to somewhere like Bandcamp for digital distribution.