By Amanda Boyko
The resurgence in popularity that has defined the world of vinyl records in recent years is truly astonishing. The access we have to music digitally in 2016 is unparalleled in convenience and efficiency. Yet, vinyl sales have a “predicted year on year growth of 100%”(McGuinenness, 2014, as cited in Sarpong, Dong, & Appiah, 2015).
I’m sure we all know a ‘millennial’ who has contributed in some way to statistics like this. Personally, I have a friend in his mid-20’s, whose vinyl collection exceeds one thousand records and is the object of infinite envy in our group of friends.
While I currently own a grand total of one vinyl record- that I’ve only listened to a handful of times on my mother’s record player- it was worth it to me to acquire it. I went to the store, stood in line, and bought the vinyl on it’s release date (despite the fact that I had already listened to the record online multiple times). It’s the novelty of it all, and I find myself yearning for more and more vinyl copies of my favourite artists’ albums.
I feel it’s very possible that in future years, print issues of newspapers and magazines will be coveted in the same way, maybe newspaper outlets will have events on release dates of of special issues, at which young people line up to get their hands on a copy. The print copies would probably be more expensive, and much less convenient to obtain than a digital version, but…. so are vinyl records, and this is exactly what’s happening. In fact, on the release date of “A Moon Shaped Pool” on vinyl, Radiohead’s most recent album, independent record stores from around the world took part in an event wherein tracks from the album as well as a live performance were streamed on site, and competitions were held for anyone in attendance. Edmonton’s own, Blackbyrd Moozik participated in this event.
I know that music fans can be a little bit more enthusiastic and involved than those of print media… but like vinyl, aspects of print media that are unappealing or irrelevant to the masses now, will have value in the future.
“Records facilitate connection via qualities associated with humanity, like creativity and physical presence.” (C. Yochim & Biddinger, 2008)
It may be a niche market but it’s already quite common for people keep, and even frame certain editions of magazines or newspapers that hold some significance to them. I feel that it would be a reasonable prediction to say that fans of a specific writer or publication will be more than inclined to get their hands on print copies of media released in the future, and they will go the extra mile to do so.
I do not feel that print media is dead- if I can go to a house party in 2016 and see my friends clamouring over the record player, eagerly waiting to drop the needle on their favourite vinyl… I believe that 20 years from now, homes will still have subscriptions to newspapers (maybe with less frequent releases), and print magazine collections will be more common and something to display with pride. Whichever form of ‘hipster’ is reigning at the time will be bragging to their friends that the only place they get their news is from the paper itself.
Print will likely never have the same presence in society as it once did, but based on the trends that have made comebacks in recent years, when print does, it will be with strength.
Sarpong, D., Dong, S., & Appiah, G. (2016).‘Vinyl never say die’: The re-incarnation, adoption and diffusion of retro-technologies. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 103, 109-118. Retrieved from
Yochim, C. E., & Biddinger, M.(2008). ‘It kind of gives you that vintage feel’: vinyl records and the trope of death. Media Culture Society, 30, 183-195. Retrieved from