The rise of the living dead! (format)

Vinyl lovers among you will feel unsurprised (and perhaps a little triumphant) to learn that the format is undergoing something of a renaissance.

Amazon has just released data showing sales are up 748% since 2008 - heartening news for those of us who couldn't shake the feeling that CDs and downloads just can't match up to the singular experience of putting on a record.

The fact that people are returning to this once outdated, and in some circles maligned, format speaks volumes about the importance of music in people's lives.

People love to wear their tastes on their sleeves.

This innate drive to collect also shows in the growth in the music memorabilia market.

David Whyte of Whyte's Auctioneers told the Irish Independent recently: "We are finding out a lot of younger people are buying memorabilia because they download music and have nothing physical to show, like an LP cover".  

"They like this sort of stuff so they can hang it on their wall while listening to their download."

This is a generation that has grown up with the download as the default format.

Isn't it fascinating that despite all the convenience and disposability of downloads and streaming services, people are still driven by a desire to collect - to connect with the music they love on a deeper level?

There is quite simply no better way to get that feeling than with music memorabilia.

Not only can it be immensely satisfying, investing can also provide significant financial benefits - not least in the comparative strength and buoyancy of the market.

Jacaeber Kastor, an investor and collector of rock memorabilia, told the Rolling Stone in 2005: "I lost my life savings in the stock market when it tanked in 2000".

"But guess what? My posters held solid as a rock. I should have put all my money into posters. Thank God rock memorabilia was here to save me. It's a sign that our field has come of age."

He's clearly not the only person who feels this way.

The music memorabilia market is currently exploding, with record sales figures broken regularly.  

Only last year we covered the electric guitar Bob Dylan played during his incendiary Newport Festival performance. It made $965,000 - a major increase on the previous record for a Dylan guitar.

Similarly, if we look at the PFC40 Autograph Index, which tracks the value of the most valuable autographs, we can see that the value of a signed Beatles photograph, for example, has risen by 8% while a similar item from Michael Jackson has grown by 16%.

While the market is predominantly driven by baby boomers that have the money to invest in items connected to the music that they grew up with, it is heartening to learn that this passion appears to have been passed on to the younger generation.

While they aren't really my cup of tea, rap group Wu-Tang Clan have come up with a fantastic idea: their forthcoming album will be limited to one, unique collectible copy that will be toured around the world before being sold at auction.

Looks like collectibles could be the future of the music industry. One thing's for sure, the music memorabilia market shows no sign of stopping.

We've got a great selection of music memorabilia for sale, including items from Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.


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