Arts & Entertainment

Vinyl fever shows no signs of waning despite pandemic downturn

Miami, Mar 11 (efe-epa).- “Vinyl fever” in the US, a phenomenon that began just over a decade ago with the popular revival of wax records, has not waned despite the pandemic, and the small number of record stores in Miami have used a mix of ingenuity and a tempting catalog to reach their loyal and nostalgic clientele, as well as a younger generation of melomaniacs.

The physical format, despite lagging well behind digital streaming that dominates 88 percent of the market, has maintained its validity and appeal. Far from being extinct, vinyl album sales in 2020 increased in the US by almost 30% compared to the previous year.

The pandemic, since its outbreak, has done nothing but nurture the nostalgia for the record and appeal to a new generation of boys and girls attracted by the tactile format and analog sound.

A small minority of record hunters is responsible for vinyl sales surpassing those of Compact Discs in the United States in 2020 for the first time since the 1980s when CDs were first introduced.

According to a report by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), vinyl records accounted for $619 million in music sales in 2020, while CDs generated only $483 million.

Given that landscape, music store owners are keeping their businesses afloat with a good dose of resilience and initiatives like those of Mikey Ramirez, owner of Technique Records in Miami.

“I really didn’t know what to do when the business closure and lockdown was ordered. I tried to imagine what was going to happen the next day and the following days, with no income, in the face of something of this magnitude,” Ramirez, who only three years earlier had opened the store, tells Efe in an interview.

A month and a half later he said to himself: “Well, if we don’t try to swim against the tide we’re going to sink.” Ramírez took the leap, and turned to promoting sales through the web, to mailing the order or delivering it to the customer without him having to get out of the car in order to keep his customers.

“It was completely unexpected. Sales in 2020 increased and, despite the fact that the deficit was large, we were able to go almost into profit,” he says.

Of course, it takes “humility and keeping our feet on the ground. Knock on wood and I don’t take this bonanza for granted”, he says, to emphasize that in this modern vinyl boom there are “certain elements of nostalgia”.

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