Petrol, pasta and now vinyl… every sector is feeling supply issues

October 8, 2021

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.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.