Vinyl pressing facing 9-12 month delay

Last year, vinyl outsold CDs (in number of units) for the first time since the early 90s. This year, the number of new vinyl records sold will top the 2020 record. For example, Adele's management has pressed 500,000 records prior to sale to ensure that demand can be met. This number equals or exceeds any other pressing in 2021.

The draw back? Vinyl pressing is facing a 9-12 month delay, and even major labels are pushing back production of their own lesser selling artists in order to make sure that massive artists like Adele can release vinyl on the same day music is released digitally.

As reported by Variety, for major label and large indie label artists, not having vinyl ready by digital release can result in a 30-40% loss of vinyl sales. While physical sales only accounts for about 10% of income derived from sound recordings overall, that figure is much larger for mid size and small independent bands. further, the delay affects smaller bands and labels more than major labels. Generally speaking, larger productions are given pressing preference, which then means that larger labels can delay the production of small run records. Even major labels are prioritizing their own releases to make sure the biggest releases make the release deadline.

Many small labels are now looking at August 2022 as the earliest release date if an order is pressed today, with many more releases delayed until 2023. Of course, one of the main reasons for the delay is shortage of supplies, which is compounded both by COVID related delays, the increase in popularity of variants, and the rapid rise in vinyl demand during the quarantine period. Good luck small bands, you'll need it!