Vinyl sales are up 94%, but the limited number of pressing plants can’t keep up.

Talking to the Guardian, Kniteforce Revolution founder Chris Howell and other small labels can’t get a slice of the vinyl pie. While production capacity is limited and major labels are reissuing David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and other classic vinyl albums, Chris is not likely to receive any 12-inch vinyl for the rest of the year – and then some.

Vinyl has seen a 94% jump in sales across the US this year, reports the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA). Demand for vinyl records has jumped more than 700% in the past decade too, states the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry).

One of the big issues is that there is a very limited number of pressing plants that can distribute globally. This isn’t good news for smaller labels who may only need a few hundred to a few thousand records pressed for a single release.

On top of the overstretched supply, a lack of PVC has disrupted supply chains after a storm in February halted petrochemical plants in Texas from producing the resin. The production of master discs that records are cut from is down to only one factory in Japan after another fire occurred at a lacquer plant in California.

“I have about 60 different vinyl releases that have been cut and are at various stages [of production]. And I have been told by the record press that I’m unlikely to get any more this year,” Chris told the Guardian.

“Because of the vinyl resurgence, the big artists I work with can afford to take time off in their life to make the music because it’s actually worth it,” Howell told the paper. “I don’t work with a single artist that’s money motivated. But if you’ve got children and a job and a mortgage, you can’t justify spending three weeks working on a new album if you’re gonna make £50 – whereas the vinyl market will make them £5,000.”

The competition for vinyl records is very unlikely to die down anytime soon. According to a study by MRC Data, consumers in the Gen Z generation prefer vinyl records compared to digital streaming!

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