LONDON (Reuters) - Sales of vinyl records have reached their highest level for 20 years and could be on track to return to the glory days of the Long Player in the late 1980s, a British industry body said on Thursday.
Fans of vinyl say it offers a richer sound than its digital successors, despite the occasional crackles caused by scratches or dust on the records.
"Vinyl is no longer the preserve of baby-boomers who grew up with the format. It now also appeals to a new generation of engaged younger fans and millennials," said Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of BPI, the representative body for UK record labels.
Figures produced by the BPI show that LP sales between January and March this year increased by over 60 percent from the same period last year.
Demand for LPs has continued to grow uninterrupted for the last 8 years, with sales now at their highest level since 1995.
If sales continue to grow at the same rate, demand for records could equal that seen in the late 1980s when vinyl was at its peak, the BPI said.
"While digital platforms provide fans instant and unlimited access to an ever-expanding cosmos of music, they can’t quite match the unique experience vinyl gives you," Taylor added in a statement.
He was speaking ahead of Friday's annual Record Store Day which will involve independent record stores across Britain offering vinyl enthusiasts products from 250 different labels.
(Reporting by Bethany Rielly; editing by Stephen Addison)