Indie Music

50% of Vinyl buyers DON’T own a record player: Music as a Souvenir

As the massive multi-year vinyl resurgence continues, it would be fair to assume that most of those hundreds of thousands of record buyers owned something to play their purchases on.

It turns out that only half do.

That is the surprising/not surprising finding from a Luminate survey of 3,900 US-based respondents.

50% of consumers who have bought vinyl in the past 12 months own a record player, compared to 15% among music listeners overall.” Put another way, 50% can’t listen to the music they just spent $25 – $45 on.


I call this phenomenon “music as a souvenir.” We’ve seen it in various forms since downloads started replacing CDs and streaming replaced downloads. Fans want something from their favorite artists to own and hold. Sometimes there is a desire to support the artist in ways they know $9.99 a month for 100 million tracks does not. For others, a great record and cover is a work of art.


Superfans and Gen Z are driving vinyl sales, according to Luminate. 31% of Gen Z fans wish that artists provided more merch options so that they could show their support, and Superfans are 3X more likely to have bought vinyl in the last year.

Download the free Liminate Top Entertainment Trends for 2023 report here.


Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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