Legacy technology reemergence: The case of the vinyl record

Alexis Eleftheriadis, Andreas Alexiou

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we study a legacy technology that instead of disappearing, it re-emerged during a process of value and meaning redefinition. Specifically, we explore vinyl records as a cultural icon that reemerged in the digital era. The appearance of digital music formats initially led vinyl records sales to reach an all-time low, but they gradually regained market share, currently competing against digital music formats. To better understand the processes that vinyl records went through, we conducted a netnography within 9 communities of vinyl records enthusiasts on 3 major online platforms, followed by 22 semi-structured interviews with executives from the music industry, while we further collected 240 open-ended questionnaires from vinyl records enthusiasts. Our findings demonstrate that this re-emergence, contrary to similar examples, originated on the consumer side, where enthusiasts ascribed on vinyl records an additional, non-utilitarian value, while generating online and offline traction, creating an initial sales boost. This gave rise to a ripple effect, which increased the demand for vinyl records amongst the general public. We discuss the significance and implications of our work for both research and practice, and delineate an agenda for future research on the topic.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
EventAoM Annual Meeting - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 7 Aug 202011 Aug 2020


ConferenceAoM Annual Meeting
Internet address


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