Vinyl shortage delays production as artists consider alternative formats

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Photo credit: Victrola

Factors such as supply chain disruptions, rising chemical prices and unprecedented demand are contributing to a vinyl shortage – prompting some artists to choose not to release music through the resurgent format.

More than a few designers and professionals have commented on the long-term effects of the current vinyl shortage, in terms of both manufacturing delays and increased costs. A number of artists have recently recognized that they are turning to relatively easy-to-make CDs and cassettes to satisfy fans’ desire for physical releases, for example. And the Vinyl Alliance early last year identified “the disruption of the supply chain” as the “biggest problem in space.”

The disturbing sighting from Vinyl Alliance, headquartered in Chesapeake, Va., Came shortly after the lockdown orders for COVID-19 – severely restricting air travel – and the blaze went into effect. ‘Apollo / Transco. The Banning, California plant was one of two known establishments (the other being the MDC of Japan) that created the lacquered discs used to form master vinyl records, from which additional copies are pressed.

As a result, vinyl manufacturing issues began even before the onset of the pandemic, and lingering supply chain difficulties appear to be exacerbating these existing challenges.

Nike, for example, has seen freighters travel from Asia to North America go from about 40 days to about 80 days “because of container shortages, port congestion, rail congestion. and labor shortages ”, according to Yahoo finance. This is an important point for vinyl given the limited supply of lacquered records outlined above as well as the format’s decidedly global manufacturing process. (It’s also worth mentioning that manufacturing solutions in the United States have emerged and other such options seem likely to debut in the future.)

Additionally, the price of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – which is used in vinyl, credit cards, pipes, some medical devices, etc. – “climbed 70%” in the middle of the pandemic, according to the Associated press.

Addressing the many obstacles that the energy and chemical industries (in addition to the different spheres still) have faced since the start of 2020, Jeremy Pafford, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services market development manager for North America. Nord said, “There’s not one thing that’s wrong. It’s kind of a mole – something goes wrong, it gets better, then something else happens. And it has been like this since the start of the pandemic. “

As noted, the vinyl shortage is compounded by an unprecedented demand for records. Vinyl revenue nearly doubled in the United States in the first half of 2021, according to the RIAA – with 2020 seeing a 23.5% year-over-year revenue increase for the global vinyl industry, according to IFPI . As a result, 2021 looks set to keep the vinyl growth trend alive for over a decade.

In the most recent testimony to the extent of the vinyl shortage, Universal Music announced all kinds of Nirvana 30th anniversary releases. no matter, which was released on September 24, 1991. However, the more expensive of these anniversary editions, which includes “8 LP of 180 grams”, is not expected to ship until the end of May 2022 – almost eight months from now.


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