MeHaving just received the first press on Christmas Eve last year, Press On Vinyl is poised to become the UK’s largest producer of vinyl records.
With record sales skyrocketing in recent years and 2022 set to be the best-selling year since the early 1990s, manufacturers have been unable to keep up with demand. Taylor Swift’s Midnights surpassed his CD sales for the first time since the 1980s, selling his 80,000 records, more than any album in this century.
“The demand for vinyl has increased dramatically over the last eight years, but our existing plants have not been able to grow with it, and we have not been able to keep up with new plants in time.” Last year with Danny Lowe , attended Press On Vinyl in Middlesbrough.
“There is very little capacity in the UK and there is a huge shortage of capacity around the world. [vinyl-pressing] We couldn’t keep up with machine makers around the world. So we decided to step in and see how we can help. ”
The pair previously ran a record label and promotions company to support local artists, and during the pandemic’s downtime, launched their own to help smaller artists monetize their music through vinyl. I came up with a “crazy business plan” to set up a stamping factory.
“Lack of capacity means very long lead times. Most stamping shops estimate six to 12 months, which is probably the biggest problem,” says Todd. “Artists at all levels suffer from it, but especially grassroots and emerging artists find it even more difficult to get their records pressed.”
With only a handful of pressing plants in the UK, most of the records sold in the country are imported from Europe. There is now a third manufacturer of vinyl press machines, and Press On Vinyl has received only his fourth machine in the world manufactured by that company.
They faced a steep learning curve before becoming fully operational and now carry out all three stages of the vinyl production process in-house: master cutting, stamping with an electroforming process, and pressing. going.
“We had a lot of things to try to figure out. Each one of them is a completely different department, a different skill set, different materials, a different machine,” said Todd. I’ve taken on a lot, but I’m really proud of the people in this area who have thrown themselves in the deep end and learned some really hard skills.
“It also means we have a great base of skilled staff that can help us grow to meet demand.”
spokesperson for The British Gramophone Industry (BP!), which publishes the UK’s official music consumption figures, says vinyl LPs have enjoyed “a remarkable 15 consecutive years of growth” since the format’s low point in 2007.
According to BPI analysis of official chart data, 8 of the top 10 vinyl albums released so far in 2022 were released this year, while in 2017, only the top 10 vinyl albums were released that year. Only three of the albums (the rest are The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac).
“Early in the record revival, there was evidence that there was a novelty factor. Students sometimes bought records to be framed for decoration or to play on inexpensive turntables. But now more and more fans, including millennials and Gen Z, understand the value of investing in a high-end audio system,” said BPI.
As the vinyl audience continues to grow, Press On Vinyl wants to grow with them. The company is also in the process of launching his online platform, Fair Sounds, which allows smaller bands and labels to fund vinyl releases through pre-order sales.
“We want to remove the financial barriers to releasing on vinyl so they can press exactly as many records as they want and at no cost,” says Todd.
“At the moment, every sector of the music industry wants records and we want to make sure everyone has access to it so fans can get what they want and artists can continue to grow. .”