Vinyl records spin a comeback

What was once a musical format teetering on the brink of extinction, vinyl records have made a sudden resurgence across Toronto.

The vinyl market in Toronto has been in an upward trend since the early 2000s, with stores springing up across the city.

According to Neilson Soundscan, an industry monitor of music sales for different formats, record sales have jumped 39.3 per cent over last year with 3.9 million units sold.

It has become a common site in many electronic store to see turntables on display, ranging in price from $50-$1000.

Ian Cheung, the operations manager of Kops Records, says it’s has become easier to sell record players today than five years ago.

“Everyone wants a record player now. Even if you’re not that big into vinyl, many see it as a staple for a living room,” Cheung said.

It is not stores alone who are benefiting from the resurgence of records. Some local musicians see it as an asset to sell records alongside CDs at concerts; despite the higher price to produce them.

“A record is a point of pride,” said Ken Watt. “If a band puts in the effort to offer their album on vinyl, you know they care about their music.”

Watt and his band In Vevo, a local Toronto band, began performing when the record craze went into full swing. Every time they perform now, they carry along with them 40 vinyl records alongside their other merchandise.

The cost for someone to put out a record can vary, depending on the overall quality of the vinyl and the way it has been packaged.

There are several companies in the U.S. who produce vinyl records outside of major corporations. Production of a vinyl record can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

“It isn’t hard to see why musicians want to make vinyl records. People go crazy for them. The first thing we sell out of at performances are the vinyl records,” Watt said.

Record stores are benefitting from vinyl’s retro appeal and the fact that many artists are embracing a format that at one point was thought to be in its dying years.