It’s no secret that the vinyl pressing industry has faced a surge in demand over the last 18 months. The British Phonographic Industry recorded 4.8 Million Vinyl Albums sold in the UK in 2020, marking a decade of growth, which globally eclipsed 1 billion dollars for the first time. In the United States LP and Ep shipments increased 23.6% while compact disc shipments fell 33.6% between 2019 and 2020 according to the RIAA.
Joining us this week to offer a manufacturer’s perspective on this growth – and the challenges it presents – is Michael Greig Thomas, the Chief Operating Officer at Kindercore Vinyl in Athens Georgia. We put the manufacturer at the center of our thinking for this conversation, discussing what materials go into producing records, how they are acquired, and the pain points that exist in the manufacturing. By drilling into the supply chain and non-linear process involved in transforming these raw materials, and their components, a richer understanding of why production estimates are lengthy is attainable. We also discuss popular narratives about purchasing power of major record labels to bump small releases in production queues, the Amazon effect, use of recyclable plastic, and how independents can use their size and nimbleness to their advantage in getting their records pressed on favorable timelines.
I’d like to note that Michael speaks openly about the industry during this conversation and that his opinions are his, and not necessarily those of Kindercore Records.
Episode Art and HH Logo By: Bryn Gleason
Audio editing, mix and mastering: Esben Willems / Studio Berserk
Music by: Sam Cangelosi
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