Vinyl Crunch Worsens For Indie Labels: Time For A Record Press Kickstarter?

Spinning-dennis-brekke-flickrJack White's #1 album debut with vinyl accounting for 30% sales, as well as his creative approach, feels like another breakthrough in the land of vinyl. But, according to one Pitchfork writer, the vinyl scene is showing signs of stress as limited production facilities devote more time to higher profile projects. The bottom line is that somebody's got to build some new presses.

Joel Oliphint takes a look at the current state of vinyl (@wesdavenport) and limits on production that are only going to get worse. I think a press-building project would make a great crowdfunding campaign and/or a great sponsorship opportunity.

Until that day those who want to press vinyl are facing short supplies of vinyl pressing equipment and an annual crunch brought on by Record Store Day.

More Vinyl Sales, More Problems

As Oliphant reports, more money for vinyl means more problems for indie labels. One unidentified indie employee stated:

“Every time I see a headline about Jack White’s latest gimmick, it’s kind of maddening…While he’s making records ‘in one day,’ normal customers can go weeks not knowing the status of their orders.”

The crunch is continuing to worsen as Asthmatic Kitty's John Beeler notes:

“You used to be able to turn over a record in four weeks…But I’m now telling my artists that we need at least three months from the time they turn it in to the time we get it back.”

Nick Blandford, managing director of the Secretly Label Group says:

“They’ve been longer this year than they were even nine months ago…We crossed our fingers and hoped that turn times would improve after Record Store Day in April, but they’re still about the same. We’ve just accepted this as the reality.”

The problem with accepting this stage as reality, though certainly a logical adjustment if you're dealing with it directly, is that this is likely just the beginning of vinyl's comeback.

I saw a comment or quote by a high school teacher who says he's seeing lots of freshmen getting into vinyl and asking about where to get good turntables. Though anecdotal his tale suggests that this vinyl thing could be in the beginning stages with the peak nowhere near in sight except for the limits on production facilities.

Built It and They Will Come

So if you know people with the skills to build a press and want to be cited in music blogs for the rest of your life (or until cassettes take point) then go get that crowdfunding campaign going. It's time.

[Thumbnail image courtesy Dennis Brekke.]


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) also blogs at DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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1 Comment

  1. Back in 2011 we saw this coming when Altavoz put out Music that Changes the World — 4 Volume Boxset for Record Store Day. And what has not changed then and now is any kind of help for companies that are in the music biz. Case in point when StartupAmerica.org — the Admin attempt to help America grow -was just starting, I got to talk to Scott Case the point person for it and he said that there was no way that anyone would invest in the carbon economy and that StartUpAmerican would certainly not help.
    So I can imagine before vinyl being a regular headline that any plant owner looking for funds to expand got laughed out of the banks or VC’s office. As well until the USA starts to invest in USMADEMUSIC we are going to continue to suffer the effect of the Major’s haliburtonization of the entertainment.
    PS Now if you make and app that steals music you get funded, If you’re part of any part of the actually making of music you get nadda.
    PSS the kids are coming back for new music that indie’s are putting out; However; since so few Indie understand physical distribution the Majors that do understand it are gaming the system and IMHO RSD.

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