The Vinyl industry is on a huge rebound, with global sales of vinyl are up by more than 700% in the past decade, according to the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry).
However, it’s also a segment facing huge challenges. Take the lack of PVC after a storm in February halted Texan petrochemical plants, or a fire in 2020 at a lacquer plant in California left only one factory in Japan making the master discs that records are cut from.
These hurdles, coupled with typical Covid- and Brexit-related shortages such as a lack of lorry drivers and hikes in customs costs, mean that even the large labels are being forced to postpone releases.
We have had a flood of fresh releases, such as Abba’s new album Voyage, are being matched by reissues later this month from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, not to mention an 18-LP box set of David Bowie.
Come to smaller labels, and these roadblocks could well prove near catastrophic. There are just a few pressing plants of meaningful size globally, so there is little capacity for smaller labels who might need only several hundred to a few thousand records pressed for a single release. The situation thus puts a lot of boutique vinyl labels at risk.