Strong vinyl record sales offer encouragement to collectors

Vinyl record sales are at their strongest since 1996, according to figures from the Official Charts Company.

One million vinyl records have sold in the UK in 2014 - the first time in 18 years the benchmark has been reached.

Vinyl sales up
Investors in rare vintage vinyl will be hoping increased interest in new LPs will translate to classic cuts

"In an era when we're all talking about digital music, the fact that these beautiful physical artefacts are still as popular as they are is fantastic," explained the managing director of the Official Charts Company, Martin Talbot, to the BBC.

"Only five years ago this business was worth around £3m a year. This year it's going to be worth £20m."

The numbers suggest a backlash against the likes of iTunes in favour of tangible copies of albums and singles.

And while they only relate to new releases, the figures offer plenty of encouragement for investment-minded collectors of vintage records, suggesting there could be a growing market for the rarities in their collection.

In a recent interview with Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tom Fisher of London's Rat Records, which specialises in classic vinyl, highlighted the shifting demographic of record buyers.

"In the last two years we're seeing a lot more young (ie under 25s) people, and more women. It's still generally men, but now our customers are mostly 18-55, and usually really enthusiastic," he said.

Recent numbers from the ICM Group indicate that 15% of all physical music bought is never listened to. This suggests that the pure pleasure of owning hard copies, and vinyl's collectible appeal, is enjoying a considerable resurgence.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fully signed copy of the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night for sale. Call +44 (0)117 933 9500 for more details.

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