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Is the Resurgence of Vinyl a Positive or Negative Thing? (Opinion)

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dance Music Northwest or its leadership.

You go onto Google, looking for a Porter Robinson Worlds limited edition vinyl box set. While often times you can find a vinyl online for about $30 to $40, the popularity of this limited edition set could make the price skyrocket. After it sold out immediately in 2014, people were selling this set for up to $375 and you can currently purchase this set through Discogs for $259.99 plus shipping.

This isn’t just because it is rare, it is because of the huge surge in vinyl record sales all over the world. Vinyl purchases in the UK are at the highest they have been in 25 years. All over the world, record sales are soaring. But, what does this mean for the dance music scene?

With the increase in vinyl classic sets by DJs like Armin Van Buuren, Donald Glaude, Carl Cox, and even Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, the value of vinyl is skyrocketing. Supply will always be there to meet the demand, but at a price. If you had walked into a record store ten or twenty years ago, you would’ve been able to walk out of a record store with multiple records in hand for a few dollars a piece. But, with the demand currently, you could be spending $30 or more on a single vinyl.

This in itself is infuriating many, especially as major companies such as Sony, Urban Outfitters, and more are entering the game to sell record players or starting to create vinyls. For example, Sony announced in 2017 they they’ll be pressing vinyls for the first time in almost three decades.

This increase is hurting small independently owned record stores, and smaller labels that still produce vinyl. Many over the world are flocking to protest this surge. Jason Spinks, owner of Kristina Records, an online and in store record retailer, said on the increase in large companies infiltrating the vinyl industry:

“Trends and fads based on current fashion and lifestyle choices generally have a lot of detrimental effects that will outweigh the positives on the industry as a whole. Particularly where independent and underground music and culture are concerned.”

Jason also states that he stopped participating in the world renowned “Record Store Day,” where privately owned record stores come together to celebrate the culture brought on by those record stores. And Spinks isn’t the only one.

Others around the globe are choosing to opt out, due to the increase in commercialism coming from vinyl sales. However, there may be some positives.

For those whom collect vinyls, there has been a surge in rare records showing up on websites such as Ebay and Discogs. Though prices may be high, the collectors market is full of rare items coming to the table. For those starting their collections, this is the perfect time to start looking! As long as you are okay with the possibility of having to spend high prices, you can now own just about any rare record.

Whether you’re a collector or seller, the vinyl market is back and thriving. All we can do now is watch it grow to possibly become what it once was, or crash and burn as the fad dies. Either way, vinyl’s are part of dance music history, and djing would not be around without it. No matter what, we can at the very least respect the fact that they exist and are still around as a token of the initial beginnings of the scene.

For more information on the surging vinyl market check out our article here

Do you have any vinyls? If so what records do you have? Let us know in the comments below!