AUTHENTICITY: DOES THE MEDIUM OF MUSIC MATTER?
In a multi format era, where music consumers are listening to music in 3 or more ways (IFPI, 2019) vinyl records have maintained a presence despite their perceived obsolescence following the birth of the CD in 1983. Part of the ongoingappeal is the notion of vinyl records as a more authentic choice, signalling virtue, ethical consumption and closeness to the artist. This paper will present current
primary r esearch on the question of “What contributes to the perception of vinyl as an authentic choice of music consumption?”. I will explore definitions of the term in relation to music formats, notions of verisimilitude in the research findings from record store owners, staff, artists and fans across genres such as dance, indie, pop and rock as well as the importance of significant vectors of analysis such as gender and Record Store Day. The branding of events such as Record Store Day will be examined alongside the target demographic who build self-identity around such notions of the real. The environment of the record store will be considered as a key factor in establishing authenticity, whether deliberate or otherwise. If vinyl is considered more authentic than streaming, downloading, CDs or cassettes, why is this so?
Glasgow-born Karlyn is a Popular Music academic, lecturer and researcher who teaches all over the UK. She leads on modules such as Artist Development and PR, Sound and Culture and Popular Music Debates with a special interest in rock n roll history.