New research suggests that streaming is boosting vinyl sales - but a lot of records being bought aren't actually getting played.

This Saturday is the annual Record Store Day extravaganza, once again set to be marked with a slew of limited edition records, live performances and in-store events.

But new research suggests that while more people, notably young people, are buying into vinyl, a lot of them aren't actually playing the records.

An ICM poll, shared with the BBC, says 48% of people who bought vinyl last month have yet to play the record. Some 7% of those surveyed said they didn't even own a turntable, while a further 41% said they have one but don't use it. We humbly suggest people could rectify this situation with one of our recommended turntables.

Jordan Katende, a student, told BBC News: "I have vinyls [sic] in my room but it's more for decor. I don't actually play them."

MORE: HD Vinyl promises better sound and cheaper production

More after the break

Meanwhile, while the record resurgence was driven by a desire to own something physical, nearly half of vinyl buyers (45%) said they had listened to the record on a streaming service before buying the physical copy, proving people still buy after they try - great news for Spotify and co.

As for where people are spending their money, despite the popularity of Record Store Day, which last year saw sales up 742% compared to the previous Saturday, only 7% of music is actually bought from a high street record shop. ICM reports 73% of music is bought online, with Amazon accounting for 27% of all music sales.

How old are vinyl buyers? The research reports around 33% of vinyl consumers fall in the 25-34 age bracket, while 22% of buyers are aged 35-44. 16% of vinyl buyers are aged 18-24. The poll also suggests - set face to 'stunned' - that more men than women are buying vinyl, but only just. Around 8% of men surveyed had bought vinyl in the last month, compared to around 5% of women.

In case there was any doubt, Andrew Wiseman, head of ICM Unlimited, told the BBC that vinyl remained relatively niche: "It is still the case that less than 1 in 10 people are buying vinyl, and we shouldn't forget that it's still a relatively small part of the market."

And that's neatly proved by the graphic above comparing CD and vinyl sales.

If you are looking to buy some new vinyl to actually listen to, you could do worse than check out this list of some of our favourite vinyl records...

MORE: Vinyl sales earned more than streaming in 2015


LDTM's picture


Many people are pretentious hipsters - who knewBomb

spiny norman's picture

Sad or sadder?

Not sure which was sadder in the BBC news channel report: the guy who said he never played them and didn't even have a player, but that he bought 'vinyls' because they look good on his wall, or the drummer from The Smiths who said the gaps between tracks on a record were really important.

Cat Williams's picture


...the LP artwork does look a lot better due to it's size. The record companies should sell empty record sleeves and liner notes with a album download for these consumers.

Erocia's picture

Vinyl hipsters

Proof that the vinyl resurgance is an hipster thing, anyway a good quality cd player will leave vinyl for dead, vinyl is the sound of distortion and the hipster choice, what's to like.

Cat Williams's picture


Why don't record companies listen to this research, and also offer for sale empty record sleeves(and perhaps liner notes for sale) for a bit less than the price of a vinyl? They could sell it with a download or a cd even. This would satisfy the consumer and would save them money on getting vinyl produced. Why sell somebody vinyl they will never play. The artwork format for vinyl is much nicer looking due to size.

Graham Luke's picture


And I bet the kale an' quinoa sits mouldering in the fridge next to the special release Belgian 'dish-water' lager...

bemaniac's picture

Well we all have a target now

Jordan Katende, a student, told BBC News: "I have vinyls [sic] in my room but it's more for decor. I don't actually play them."

Destroy this person.

David@FrankHarvey's picture


Got to love a good old survey...