See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me: The Importance of Tangible Media in Music Uses and Gratifications
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Despite being declared obsolete many times over the past 30 years, the popularity and consumption of vinyl records have come back from a nadir and maintained a slowly but steadily growing hold on consumers. After a digital music era that stripped music of most tactile functions, it is posited that the return of vinyl signals a remediation of the format, and newer consumers of vinyl are finding more purpose in music by utilizing a century-old medium. By interviewing owners and managers of different-sized record stores in the Western United States, the author finds basis for these assertions. This study applies uses and gratifications, medium, and remediation theories to analyze newer trends in the consumption of vinyl records and suggests that the addition of tangible packaging as well as the presence required to play and listen to vinyl may give more meaning to the listener and a return of the format.