Sunday, February 09, 2020

Vinyl boom - bust?

In a New York Times expose published last year, Jody Rosen described the fire that ripped through Universal Music Group's archive in 2008 as "the biggest disaster in the history of the music business" - and not without good reason, as it claimed the master tapes of scores of artists and several legendary record labels.

But the blaze that has completely destroyed Apollo Masters' manufacturing and storage facility in California is also going to have a huge impact on the industry, at least in the short term, as the company was one of only two global makers of "the lacquer used in the production of master discs, from which vinyl records are made, as well as the styli used in the pressing process".

At very least, the incident is going to set vinyl release schedules back significantly - and, as usual, those likely to be worst affected will be the indies, whose orders are bumped so that those of the big boys can be fulfilled as a priority. At worst, it may burst the vinyl bubble altogether.

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