United Kingdom

Teens love vinyl. They tell us why.

Music streaming services have made people’s favorite artists and albums the most accessible they’ve ever been. While preferring analog to digital platforms for music isn’t a new trend, Generation Alpha and Gen Z-ers are contributing to record-high vinyl sales in the United States. What is it about vinyl that teens find so appealing?

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), 43 million vinyl records were purchased in 2023, outselling CDs for the second time since 1987. Vinyl record sales also grew 10% to $1.4 billion, marking their 17th consecutive year of growth, and accounted for 71% of physical format revenue sales, the RIAA said. CD and cassette sales, for context, first overtook vinyl sales in 1988 and continued to reign supreme as the preferred physical formats for music consumption in the ’90s and aughts.

The supposed vinyl resurgence — some argue that it never actually left — has also effectively ushered in a younger, eager group of teenage collectors. Teens flock to social media to show off their meticulously curated collections, build community with enthusiasts their age, and search for and sell coveted presses. Rather than seeking out albums that were initially released on vinyl, teenagers are focused on collecting new releases, specifically albums that have been released in the past decade.