All those records that found new homes over the past year must be getting their fair share of play (despite murmurs to the contrary) if turntable sales are anything to go by. Although, the most popular turntable on the market might rank high on your wantlist. Turntable sales in the US alone reached $98m from February 2016 to February 2017, up from $85m in 2015, according to NPD Group.
The current best selling turntable brand on the market is Victrola, the faux-antique all-in-one system you can usually pick up for under $100. The previous US market leader, Crosley is at number two, followed by Audio-Technica, Jensen and Sony.
Innovative Technologies, who acquired Victrola in 2015 stand to make about $100m this year. They put their success down to capitalizing on the renewed interest in turntables by offering a wide range of cheaper models in a variety of designs. Despite an apparent trend for the vintage look, turntable buyers aren’t traditional when it comes to pairing their systems with new technologies. In the past year, nearly half of turntables sold in the Feb to Feb period featuring bluetooth functionalities, and about 39% able to create digital audio files. Despite new innovations becoming more commonplace, the average selling price of a turntable decreased by 6%.
While purists and old school vinyl-junkies may be cringing by this point, there was also good news for higher-end hi-fi. Turntable sales in the $250+ range also increased 135%, accounting for 11% of the market share.
This growth at the lower-end of the turntable market is likely the result of casual listeners and a younger audience starting to listen to records. Who knows, maybe these all-in-one systems are just the gateway drug that gets them hooked on bigger and better things.