Sounds of the Universe – Record Shops in London

Millennials and Generation Z might be making innovations in the world of technology, with them using Snapchat, YouTube and Twitter as a catalyst to fuel political and climate revolutions across the globe, but are they responsible for the rise of a re-emergence in records? 

London, once a centre for New Wave bands and rock groups such as Queen and the Rolling Stones, still contains record shops from each end of the M25.

One record shop which has been serving customers for many years is Sounds of the Universe, located on Broadwick Street, Soho. 

Wayne Gilbert, an employee of Sounds of the Universe, gave some reasons as to why record sales are on the rise and also gave a few intriguing facts about the industry. 




The majority of people consuming people in the United Kingdom and United States do so via streaming with apps such as Spotify, Apple Music or Deezer. 

But in 2017 a remarkable fete had been recorded, with 17% of music purchases being physical music sales.

17% may not sound astonishing, but digital downloads made 15% of sales in the same year. 


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The majority of music consumption is done so through streaming, something which is recognised by Digital Music News and employee at Sounds of the Universe Wayne Gilbert. 

But has the same trend be witnessed in London? 

London still has bears the hallmarks of a bygone era of physical music sales, which to some extent is being re-vitalised.


Music stalls can be found at almost all second-hand and car-boot sales across the nation, the former headquarters of HMV are being redeveloped partly to allow freelancers to produce material for the arts, and records shops can still be found across the capital in great numbers.

According to Wayne Gilbert, “viynl records will not be the dominant form” again, but with sales between physical and digital markets surpassing each other from 2017, it seems that a definite resurgence in records is unavoidable. 

Want to know more about record shops in London, read this: 

Take a trip down vinyl lane



Words by Zubair Karmalkar

Video by Zubair Karmalkar 

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