Wednesday, March 25, 2015

You're Buying More Vinyl LPs Than Factories Can Make

The aging vinyl manufacturing industry is working overtime to keep up with soaring demand for LPs.
The vinyl renaissance isn't limited to people stocking up on dollar LPs from the back of their local record shop. New vinyl sales continue to surge, and we're now reaching a point at which the existing manufacturing industry can't keep up with demand.

As the Wall Street Journal reports today, sales of LPs are up 49 percent—but the infrastructure to make them certainly isn't growing like that. Only about 15 vinyl-pressing factories remain in the United States. There's just one company to provide all the raw vinyl for those records.

And despite the surge in American audiophilia, investors aren't exactly lining up to fund new factories for an old technology. Even as it has become uber-trendy, vinyl still represents just 2 percent of music sales. With no investment coming to build new factories or machines, LP-makers are reportedly on the hunt for old presses collecting dust, which they might be able to revive.

"They're trying to bring the industry back, but the era has gone by," 67-year-old Robert Roczynski told the Journal. Roczynski is president of Record Products of America Inc., one of the country's few suppliers of parts for the industry.

It seem re-starting the record industry isn't quite as simple as dropping the needle back at the beginning.

Via Wall Street Journal.


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