Sales of vinyl records not doing too badly, attracting younger crowd

Mr Denny Pue, owner of Simply Music, said that among the new faces are mostly working professionals in their 20s, and students who visit with their parents.
Mr Denny Pue, owner of Simply Music, said that among the new faces are mostly working professionals in their 20s, and students who visit with their parents.ST PHOTO: DAVE LIM

Over the past few years, newer, fresher faces have been navigating through the precarious floor-to-ceiling shelves containing vinyl records at Roxy Disc House, browsing for their favourite records.

The vinyl revival in Singapore continues to pick up steam, even as digital music and streaming services might still be the predominant players in the music space, according to the latest statistics from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

Vinyl sales make up slightly less than 1 per cent of all music sales here, but grew fivefold last year to US$150,000 (S$208,000).

Mr Richard Wan, the owner of Roxy Disc House at The Adelphi, said he has been seeing more young adults visiting his store and browsing for records. "The youth culture now seems to be going back to a more 'retro' feel," said Mr Wan.

His shop has long been the go-to place for record shopping, along with other Adelphi stalwarts like Simply Music and New Disc Village.

And, in recent years, new vinyl shops such as The Analog Vault and Curated Records have popped up across the island.

 

"Vinyl compels one to listen according to the artist's intentions - for example, not being able to skip tracks allows me to appreciate the recording as a sensible collection of tracks, a narrative," said public servant Justin Woo, 28.

Mr Woo estimates that he spends $100 on vinyl records each month. "I also find vinyl sounds more life-like, which deepens the connection I feel with the music and its motivations."

Mr Denny Pue, who runs Simply Music, said the new faces are mostly working professionals in their 20s, and students who visit with their parents. "Because of the new faces, we've started bringing in things that they want - records from artists like Coldplay or Adele, more commercial pop albums."

Mr Wan estimates that his vinyl sales increased 15 per cent last year. But he acknowledges that there are plenty of lost sales from people who come in and browse records, before buying them online.

Lester Hio

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'Sales of vinyl records not doing too badly, attracting younger crowd'. Print Edition | Subscribe