The Growth of Analog in a Digital World

The Growth of Analog in a Digital World

The rise of digital was supposed to mean the death of things like printed books, vinyl records and brick and mortar stores. But recently, the market for analog goods and ideas has actually increased. The revenge of analog. (see the book with the same title)

I first thought these guys must be kidding and are a bit sentimental.

Here a few facts supporting this:

  • Amazon is opening physical stores
  • vinyl music records are growing by about 20% y-o-y
  • Sony announced to open a new vinyl music record  printing facility in Japan
  • special book stores are opening

What are the advantages of analog over digital? stay tuned, will address it shortly (need to help cook my wife…) 🙂

Back… There are four main analog advantages:

Sociability

Refers to the fact that people are social and and/need to be together with others. It is and will probably always be more interesting to share time with others at a social gathering. The future where we go to robot parties seems quite far away. Although this is of course challenged as well. Preferring to go to a cafe and have people around you is an example.

Tangibility

This refers to being real and not virtual. Being able to be touched. The vinyl records are a good example here. Another one is being able to touch a book, maybe smell the pages and enjoying a different experience than with an e-book. Cafes in book stores combine this the social aspect.

Excitability

1: capable of being readily roused into action or a state of excitement or irritability

2: capable of being activated by and reacting to stimuli

We want to get have action and if it is only being able to walk and talk but sometime sit has to be more like dancing or doing some active things. This gives us pleasure and is still much better to be done than in the digital world. Doing active sports vs. e-sports is still more enjoyable for many although I can see that a combination of both would be great for me.

Anonymity

Paying cash rather than using your bank card is a good example. People want to keep sometimes to themselves and don’t want to be watched at or possibly being controlled/tracked. Here also belongs the concept of protection which is easier possible in an analog controlled power plant than in one where all is digitally controlled or – worst case – being accessible through networks.

 

The above cases can we seen as resistance of the analog. (Resistance)

Now there are of course areas where digital entirely took over and analog will never make it back. (Dominance)

Then  we have the case where there is synergy between analog and digital. (Synergy)

And then we have the – famous – discussion on transformation. (Transformation)

 

Let’s also briefly look at these other three cases:

Dominance of the digital

Synergy between analog and the digital

Transformation from analog to digital

 

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