There are some who still maintain that the vinyl resurrection is a fad. “Fads” are short-lived things, lasting a few weeks or months. We’re now into the ninth year of year-over-year growth of the sales of vinyl records. That, sunshine, is not a “fad.”
The Globe and Mail has a front page story in the business section about vinyl in Canada by John O’Kane.
The hype around the 21st-century vinyl revival is starting to sound like a broken record. Music sales revenues have plummeted for more than a decade, but every year since 2011, stories have cropped up about the 30, 50 or sometimes 80 per cent year-over-year growth in vinyl sales.
The spectacular rebirth of the LP, however, has come with unexpected growing pains. New record-pressing machines haven’t been manufactured for decades, forcing new manufacturers to dredge up and refurbish used, creaky presses. And demand far outweighs the industry’s capacity: only a finite number of old presses remain, forcing delays that can stretch six months or longer as labels wait their turn to press records.
A new Canadian firm is coming to the record’s rescue. Backed by $1-million in funding commitments from a Greater Toronto Area investor, Viryl Technologies has designed a modernized, fully automated record press that will hit factory floors later this year. Viryl’s presses have the potential to flood the marketplace and reduce pesky manufacturing holdups. They might not save the whole music industry, but they will certainly satiate the physical record’s growing audience.
If you love vinyl (or if you’re just curious), keep reading.