Fascinating MusicWatch "In Depth" Survey of Vinyl Record Buyers

Press release: April 19, 2022 New York: MusicWatch, a leading U.S. research and analytics company serving the music industry for nearly a quarter of a century, unveiled today a first of its kind study conducted in cooperation with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Music Business Association. The study, titled Revelations About the Vinyl Revolution, offers a detailed look at the current state of the vinyl record market; as well as the preferences and predispositions of the purchasers and listeners to this classic format.

Led by former NPD executive Russ Crupnick, MusicWatch has produced syndicated and custom market research solutions for a variety of customers, including the major music labels, digital service providers and technology companies. Over the years, the scope of MusicWatch’s work has grown to encompass virtually every significant music development from the impact of P2P piracy to the evolution of paid streaming services.

Their latest study, which was conducted between March 7th and 31st, surveyed nearly 1,400 consumers across the U.S. in nearly every lifestyle segment, including both the general population and vinyl enthusiasts. It examines not just the tendencies of vinyl consumers but their psychographic behavior as well, including their approach to the vinyl purchasing process; their orientation towards sound quality and packaging and how this helps to drive interest in the product category; plus their interaction with other vinyl enthusiasts via social media; and more.

The MusicWatch findings offer a number of keen insights concerning the overall awareness of vinyl and its effect on music fans across the buying spectrum, including the following:

- An estimated 18 million consumers aged 13 and older purchased vinyl during 2021, a 27% increase over a significantly Covid-impacted 2020. Among buyers of vinyl over the past two years, 71% purchased new records and 67% bought used ones. And 95% of vinyl buyers expect to continue purchasing the format in the coming year.

- More than one in three buyers (38%) have been purchasing vinyl for more than 10 years and value the authenticity and “warmth” that vinyl records deliver. Those who began buying more recently also appreciate vinyl’s sound quality, along with the packaging, features and artwork that are part of the vinyl experience. Plus the number of artists embracing vinyl influences these newer buyers as well.

- Collecting vinyl is also quite popular. 16% of purchasers buy records strictly to own them, while 21% buy them to collect and listen to.

- Additionally vinyl records have a positive impact on hardware sales. One out of three turntable owners and users say that they intend to upgrade their record player or other audio equipment next year.

- Vinyl buyers are also engaged in not just vinyl records, but a wide range of music listening and purchasing options, including the latest digital streaming platforms.

Portia Sabin, President of The Music Business Association also states: “Our organization was pleased to support MusicWatch in its research efforts. The members of our Physical Business Action Committee worked closely with Russ and his team to help promote more awareness about vinyl record retailers in general and their impact on their communities.”

This exclusive MusicWatch vinyl study comes on the eve of the music industry’s annual Record Store Day which will be held on April 23 this year. The unique event brings both indie record store and major retail customers together to celebrate the overall record collecting and music listening experience.

As the MusicWatch study points out, 60% of vinyl buyers are aware of Record Store Day and more than half of them plan to visit a physical shop or online site during that time.

The Revelations About the Vinyl Revolution study will be available on May 5 (these are just a few of the highlights).

Anton D's picture

18 million people, well done.

71% bought a new record (or more) in 2021.

So, 12,780,000 bought new.

Total new vinyl sales in 2021, according to Billboard: 41.72 million.


So, those new vinyl buyers averaged about 3.33 new records purchased.

That, folks, is a great place to show how much room we have for more growth! The numbers have lots of room to keep increasing new LP sales!

Think if we got the average record buyer up to one new LP per month!

You could see this end up at 100-150 million. That would be cool, to me.

Thanks for that article!

ivansbacon's picture

"new vinyl buyers averaged about 3.33 new records purchased".

That makes me smile.

OldschoolE's picture

I buy used records to try to restore them and add to my library to listen to. (To me they are historical documents). The other 63% buy records strictly to try to sell at extreme prices at least 4000% more than they are worth and claim to be experts (Those guys don't even own a turntable). I never sell off any records for any reason because it is next to impossible because you only get that 63% who want you to give them your records for free. I just take my "rejects" if you will to my not that local record shop and drop them off (no money and credit only if asked and it is not worth asking). It beats the hassle of trying to sell even locally. I don't have many rejects anyway.

Interesting article.

ivansbacon's picture

"Say can i have some of your purple berries?"

TravelsFAQ.com's picture

This is an exciting development for vinyl enthusiasts and the music industry alike! The study by MusicWatch, in collaboration with the RIAA and the Music Business Association, provides invaluable insights into the current state of the vinyl market and the behaviors of its consumers. It's fascinating to see the growth in vinyl purchases, with an estimated 18 million consumers aged 13 and older buying vinyl in 2021—a notable increase from 2020.

The detailed findings about vinyl consumers' preferences, such as the appreciation for the authenticity and "warmth" of vinyl, and the influence of packaging and artwork, highlight why this classic format continues to resonate with both longtime collectors and new enthusiasts. It's also interesting to note the significant impact vinyl has on hardware sales, with many turntable owners planning upgrades in the near future.

Additionally, the engagement of vinyl buyers with both physical records and digital streaming platforms shows a well-rounded appreciation for music in all its forms. The support from The Music Business Association and the timing of this study just before Record Store Day underscores the ongoing relevance and community impact of vinyl.

For those interested in diving deeper into these revelations, the full study will be available on May 5. It's clear that vinyl isn't just surviving—it's thriving in today's music landscape. Spin on!

For those who love to combine their passion for music with travel, I highly recommend checking out travelsFAQ.com. It's a great resource for anyone looking to explore new places while enjoying their music collection. Whether you're on the road or flying to a new destination, www.travelsfaq.com has tips and advice to make your travels more enjoyable.