Vinyl records are once again the highest-grossing physical format for the music industry. The sales of vinyl exploded during the pandemic.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
As some people will know, vinyl records are popular again.
SCOTT DETROW, HOST:
That’s right. According to the Recording Industry Association, vinyl is now the most profitable physical format in the business. I guess nobody’s buying tapes anymore.
DETROW: Some manufacturers can’t keep up.
ERIC MUELLER: There’s other companies who just don’t answer the phone. We’ll at least tell you we’re not taking new clients.
INSKEEP: That’s Eric Mueller, aka Skippy, the president of Pirates Press. He says record sales took off – you guessed it – during the pandemic.
INSKEEP: Chris Bell runs a smaller and more specialized manufacturing operation called One Groove Vinyl in Wimberley, Texas.
MUELLER: In the 15 years-plus that we’ve been running the business, the average turnaround time is probably about 14 business days. But right now we’re pushing, like, five months for black vinyl.
INSKEEP: Like Mueller, his turnaround time has also gone up.
DETROW: But since things are jammed everywhere, Bell says the situation is leading to more business for his small operation.
CHRIS BELL: The other day, I just had a call from a band. They’re like, can you just make a hundred to tide us over? Because a lot of these plants aren’t taking orders until May of next year.
DETROW: Bell is not worried people will abandon vinyl, like the sour dough starters in the back of their fridge.
BELL: I think once you hear vinyl on a good turntable compared to, let’s say, Spotify and stuff, it gets addictive.
INSKEEP: It is said to be a richer sound. And as for the long turnaround time, Mueller of Pirates Press says true fans will wait.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “PATIENCE”)
GUNS N’ ROSES: (Singing) Need a little patience, yeah, just a little patience…
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