Most Unique Ways Millennials Are Organizing Media Collections
Nothing speaks to the millennial desire to express themselves like an artfully organized and meticulously collected media collection, whether it’s books, vinyl, movies, magazines, or collectibles inspired by all of the above.
People collect media for all kinds of reasons. Some collect as a hobby, others for nostalgia, and some even for the reward of finding rare items. Learning how millennials organize and collect media is one way to understand their psychological impulses better.
Vinyl records have made a resurgence over the last few years, hitting a record high in sales. Music enthusiasts appreciate the vintage sound that vinyl records bring. Often music directly correlates to how people feel; therefore, investing in the listening experience increases happiness. For many millennials who grew up listening to remnants of their parents’ collections, they are sometimes carrying on the tradition or inspired by their family’s dedication to the older medium.
Most digital music is stored and compressed, which lowers the found quality. The audio is filled into a lossy format to ensure it’s small enough to fit onto a phone or broad over airwaves. Vinyl retains the original music quality that true fans know and love.
Vinyl records are more collectible than their digital streaming counterparts. Many albums only have released limited quantities, meaning each one becomes an increasing value over time. For example, classic rock music tends to increase in value as more people discover the music.
For many millennials, books are an escape from their everyday life. It goes more in-depth and provides more details in the story than movies can. There are dozens of ways to collect books, such as illustrated books, novels, comics, cookbooks, signed books, and more.
The type of book you collect will largely depend on the person’s passions. Many die-hard Marvel fans will collect every comic issue they can get their passions. There are many reasons to collect books:
- Physical copy to read – many people love having a hard copy to read the book over and over again
- Collectible – These are limited edition books that will increase in value over time.
- Nostalgia – some love the nostalgia of their favorite novels.
The ways millennials are organizing books varies wildly, but one look at Pinterest or Instagram indicates that there’s always something unique: by the color of the book spine, by author, by genre, by time period, and so forth.
Traditional music boxes are usually wooden boxes with a knob that turns to wind a spring. The spring releases once the lid is open and the tune begins playing. While wind-up music boxes are fun to listen to, they are a collectible item millennials love to collect. Manufacturers have produced crank-able boxes that play popular tunes from movie classics like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Frozen, and more. Additionally, modern music boxes come with a USB giving users access to a digital recording device that can playback any tune!
Magazines can be collectible, particularly if it’s in a niche area like travel, literature, music, or other lifestyle sectors. There’s practically a magazine in every category, from business to gossip. People interested in business might subscribe to Forbes and Bloomberg magazines, while someone interested in politics and culture might purchase issues of The New Yorker.
Art enthusiasts admire the story behind an art piece. Oftentimes, collectors develop an emotional connection with a piece once they learn about how and why it was creative. The artist may have had a unique upbringing that inspired their painting, which can, in turn, inspire the consumer. Of course, paintings make for great decor and are collectible like other media collection mediums.
While DVDs are largely obsolete, there are still millennials who maintain their DVD collection and seek to grow it, as well. Anyone who loves all-time classics wants to collect a physical piece of that movie. They should be cherished and gone back to repeatedly, even if it’s just to admire a shelf where you’ve carefully organized DVDs by genre and/or director. With a digital version, the tangible and tactile nature of watching a movie on DVD isn’t as present. True movie lovers will even carry around DVDs and store them in a slim laptop bag so that they can enjoy movies on the go.
NFTs have been a craze all over the internet recently. The term NFT stands for a Non-Fungible Token, which is a fancy way of saying something isn’t interchangeable. That means that no two digital assets can be the same. For example, any product can be easily duplicated. However, an NFT digital artwork or media can’t be duplicated, meaning it’s one of one.
Celebrities and artists have been selling exclusive NFTs to their fans, giving them the opportunity to be the only ones to own a particular NFT. While the price is quite steep, some fans are willing to pay for it. Music NFTs can be many things such as concert tickets, collectible pieces from an album, or even individual media files. Steve Aoki sold his immersive audiovisual works for $4.25 million, while 3Lau sold his collection for $11.7 million. These NFTs compromised from digital copies of unreleased, custom-made songs, a vinyl copy, and more.
Millennials are following music artists, celebrities, and graphical design artists to collect NFT masterpieces. Whether it’s simply a collectible or a future resell the item, millennials are certainly getting involved.
As one of the remaining generations who experienced an analog childhood, millennials are extremely in tune with the culture and find creative ways to express their passions rooted in their upbringing with tactile, tangible media. Depending on what resonates with the consumer, each person finds their own way to collect media that is meaningful to them, and pivot to embrace new media.
Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.