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Local vinyl enthusiasts, retailers weigh in on resurgence in popularity

A year-end report from the Recording Industry Association of America said more vinyl records were sold than CDs in 2022, the first time that's happened since 1987.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Listening to music on a turntable is the most popular it has been since 1987, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

A year-end report from RIAA said more vinyl records were sold than CDs in 2022, the first time that's happened in 35 years.

There are a couple of reasons for the resurgence: Growing interest in vinyl from Generation Z and millennials, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, have contributed to the revival, RIAA said.

But it didn't happen overnight.

Rob Kimple, the owner of No Noise Records on Monroe Street, said he's sold more vinyl than CDs for the last decade.

"For me, it's all about the sound, but there's a lot of reasons people like it," Kimple said. "They like the hunt, they like the find, people do it together as a family, there's a whole host of reasons to get into it as far as the tactile, just the actual owning."

For vinyl enthusiast Ed Kaser the records allow him to connect with the music and the artwork. His collection is in the thousands and he can often be seen at No Noise Records flipping through new and used sleeves.

"I think I've had a record player ever since I was about six years old," Kaser said. "It's been a wonderful part of my life to be able to enjoy and now share that with my kids who are getting interested in it."

Kimple has been selling records and stereos for more than two decades and said the vinyl revival is not surprising.

So, why are more people dusting off those records?

Dr. Matthew Donahue, a professor of pop culture at Bowling Green State University, said more vinyl is readily accessible and affordable.

"Back in the day, a turntable would be very expensive and very cost-prohibitive. Now, it's much more affordable for the younger generation," Donahue said.

While music streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music are popular with younger generations for their ease of use, it's no match for the sound quality of vinyl, No Noise Records employee Miles Jacob said.

"When it comes down to it, it's really the best dollar-for-dollar compared to anything else if you have a decent quality turn table and clean records," Jacob, a vinyl enthusiast, said. "It'll get you a better sound than anything else you might be able to get on Spotify or Apple Music."

For some, music is about connection and now vinyl is an old way of listening to a new tune.

"Vinyl really is about nostalgia and it's about music listeners and music fans having something that they can really connect with," Donahue said.

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