Vinyl sales on the rise in Winnipeg
BAILEE WOODS, CONTRIBUTOR
With stores like Urban Outfitters selling pastel-coloured record players, and pop stars like Justin Bieber and Adele releasing their albums on vinyl, music looks like it’s gravitating back to old platforms.
Greg Tonn, manager at Into the Music in the Exchange District, has been selling vinyl to collectors and music lovers since the late 80s. Tonn really started to notice vinyl making its way back into the mainstream during with Christmas shoppers in 2014.
“I saw the trend really clearly. Dozens of parents coming in and saying, ‘we bought our 14 to 16-year-old a turntable, here’s a list of records we’re looking for,’” said Tonn. “The parents were probably raised with record players and they’re passing that on. So now we’re starting to see a continuum through the joy of that medium.”
Derek Reynolds, manager of the HMV Canada in Polo Park, said vinyl can provide a more meaningful listening experience to the listener.
“There’s a romance to it,” said Reynolds. “There’s the aesthetics of sitting down, putting on an album and listening to it from beginning to end.”
In a world that went digital with online music platforms like Spotify and iTunes, some music lovers are missing the connection they once had with owning the physical copy of an album.
“People like the physical aspect, so I think it’s more of a treat to have the vinyl,” said Mandy Drysdale, assistant manager of the HMV in Polo Park.
According to a mid-year report released by Nielsen, the first half of 2015 saw 207,000 vinyl/LPs sold — up by 40 per cent compared to 2014. The same report saw digital album sales go up by 10 per cent with 5.2 million purchases.
Mansi Kookani is a student in the business administration integrated program at RRC. She says she’s intrigued by the current vinyl trend, even though she tends to listen to most of her music digitally.
“I’ve started to grow fond of vinyl.
I keep revisiting my father’s vinyl collection in our family home to get my fix,” said Kookani. “Sadly, I am not a buyer or a collector of vinyl since I lack the know-how about collecting it.”
Tonn says that interest in vinyl has become more apparent over the last five to six years and he can see it continuing on — to a point. After that, he said it’ll be the hard-core collectors who keep vinyl alive.
“Things are still gathering momentum, but I see it peaking,” said Tonn. “I don’t know when — in the next few years maybe — then things will slow down again likely.”