Vinyl Sales May Be in Trouble Due to High Demand

Vinyl Sales May Be in Trouble Due to High Demand

While seemingly a boon to the music industry, the resurgence of vinyl over the past 15 years has been a double-edged sword for artists. The RIAA reported record high vinyl sales in 2021 which should be great news for artists and music lovers in general; however, the costly and time-consuming vinyl pressing process is causing […]

While seemingly a boon to the music industry, the resurgence of vinyl over the past 15 years has been a double-edged sword for artists. The RIAA reported record high vinyl sales in 2021 which should be great news for artists and music lovers in general; however, the costly and time-consuming vinyl pressing process is causing major delays for smaller artists and uncertainty for the future of the musical format.

It’s official: the resurgence of vinyl is more than a passing trend. The Recording Industry Association of America has reported record-breaking earnings for 2021 with revenue totaling $15 billion, thanks in no small part to vinyl sales. Vinyl has been on a continuous rise for the past 15 years with no indication of slowing down; and while physical sales were affected by lockdown from 2020-2021, overall revenue still rose by 30% in 2020 and 61%in 2021 due to the online market.

Further proving its triumphant return and subsequent staying power, vinyl revenue outshone that of CDs in 2020while 2021 marked the first year since 1986 that vinyl exceeded $1 billion in sales. Artists have been quickly and consistently adapting to the industry’s reverting of musical formatting. Back in December, the RIAA cited releases from Adele, Billie Eilish, and Taylor Swift as big contributors to overall vinyl sales. It seems that vinyl is back for good.

While this is good news for record companies and big-name artists, many lesser-known artists are struggling to compete due to difficulties in the record pressing process, which can be costly and time-consuming. The music industry’s growing adoption of and reliance upon vinyl has only exacerbated this issue, with many artists clawing for a spot at the turntable. Resource shortages and shipping costs have both been cited as rising problems in the vinyl sales race.

Jack White, vocalist and guitarist for The White Stripes recently expressed his concern for the current vinyl manufacturing landscape in a video released earlier this month. In it, he urges major labels to consider opening their own pressing plants as a means of avoiding the growing delays that increased vinyl sales and demand have introduced to artists and the industry at large. White compares vinyl wait times to the average pregnancy term and emphasizes the importance of release timing for artists.

Hopefully, major record labels such as Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group will heed the call and help preserve the momentum of artistic expression, soul, and livelihood, as White describes in his video message. For more information, visit the source content at the Pitchfork website.

Rather than relying on physical formats like vinyl, many music companies, such as Canyon Entertainment Group, are still orienting toward digital streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Soundcloud to showcase artists. One such rising star under Canyon’s management is Toronto’s singer-songwriter Mauve, whose genre-defying songs have gained over a million streams on Spotify and YouTube. To learn more, check out their company website and contact info(at)canyonentertainmentgroup.com for more information.

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