We live in a world where brands go in and out of style every year. In the ever-changing technological age we live in, it comes as no surprise that every week there appears to be a new fad in the tech world. But what happens when these gadgets fade out? Remember records? Sony’s Walkman and CD players? Hit-clips by Tiger Electronics? These outdated devices now do nothing but collect dust in our drawers filled with other miscellaneous items from our past. However, it may be time to open that drawer again, because vinyl is back on the rise.
Sony Music Entertainment announced this week that they will be making vinyl records once again due to a substantial increase in demand this year. In fact, records could account for up to 18% of all physical music revenue this year, which is likely to top $5 billion dollars.
It comes as no surprise that major tech companies such as Sony and Panasonic have been cashing in on this opportunity, releasing new record players and accessories. But why have records made a comeback after almost 30 years of extinction? It all comes back to branding.
The record has been creeping its way back into popular retail stores for about a decade now. For example, the popular clothing store, Urban Outfitters, has carried records and record players in their stores for quite some time. The Company that prides themselves as being the go-to retail store for trend-setting young adults, introduced vinyl back to a generation that did not necessarily grow up with records. This helped create a Brand behind the concept of vinyl itself, taking records from outdated, to vintage, and thus made “cool” again.
While they are bringing back an outdated technology, Sony rebranded their record players making them more appealing to the younger generation. They are capitalizing on new technology by promoting them as high-definition audio players that can be used to play original vinyl and can connect to a PC, Mac or other high-end speakers.
Once the product had organically re-entered the zeitgeist, all it took was a small push from these companies to update the technology with a modern touch and all of the sudden a whole industry was revitalized. Vinyl records managed to grow into popularity as a “cool” old/new product, and is farther propelled by being touted as a superior music medium. Vinyl is being seen as almost a luxury item in this new market. Everyone streams music on their phones while they are on-the-go, but when they get home it is all about having a nice hi-fi sound with some vinyl and a brand-new Sony record player.