We’re almost back to normal so if you’re a musician and you’re wondering if you should press vinyl records already. The answer is…you should have done it YESTERDAY!
I know why you’re worried. The cost of the format is one of the top reasons why most musicians are apprehensive. Others find the format heavy and bulky, and not to forget the fact that it’s the most fragile physical format.
And the biggest question of all is why now when we’re in the age where almost everything is done digitally? Well, you’ll have to read through this article to find out.
#1 NUMEROUS MUSICIANS ARE RELEASING ON THEM
A variety of musicians have been releasing their albums or singles on vinyl records. Whether they may be seasoned or new, signed or not, popular or not so popular, they do release on them.
Olivia Rodrigo, one of the most popular rising artists in America, had her debut album, “Sour”, released on many audio formats and one of them is the vinyl format.
And what’s great about these musicians releasing vinyl records is that they do not only come from one genre of music! From rock bands to classical orchestras, vinyl records have left their traces.
Vinyl reissues and compilation albums were also released by many musicians in the past decade which proves that the vinyl record format is a great medium for music. We have Michael Jackson’s “Bad 25” released by his record label in September 2012. And this upcoming October 15, 2021, we will get to witness a reissue of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” special edition.
#2 YOU WILL HAVE LESSER COMPETITION
This might be a contradiction to reason number one so let me explain. Yes, there are many musicians releasing vinyl records, but this is in comparison to the past decades before the steady rise of vinyl sales.
When I say lesser competition, I’m referring to when you compare it to all the existing active musicians in the world. There may be a great number of them releasing on vinyl, but there is a greater number of them that are not doing it.
More musicians are releasing digital albums and singles making music streaming sites very saturated. But with how releasing and distributing music there costs less, why would they risk releasing their albums on the format? Due to this mentality, there is a certain exclusivity to the format that draws people in, both music makers and music consumers.
What I’m really trying to say here is: “You better release them now than later when almost every musician have decided to release in the format”.
#3 VINYL HAS AGAIN BECOME A POPULAR PHYSICAL FORMAT
As I’ve mentioned in passing, vinyl records have a stable increase in sales which means that they have gained more audience and have sold more copies. In 2020, vinyl record sales have made some history.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), vinyl sales have finally surpassed the decreasing sales of CDs after 30+ years. It has apparently shown 29.2% growth in sales when compared to the 2019 sales.
Moreover, Discogs released their 2020 end-of-year report where we can see that the bulk of its sales came from vinyl records. They have sold 11,961,998 copies worldwide showing 40.75% increase from copies sold in 2019.
#4 VINYL RECORDS NEVER LOST FANS
Vinyl record was the first audio format that was ever commercialized and though cassette and 8-track tapes were released, vinyl records were never replaced. That was until the compact discs (CDs) were invented.
But even with the replacement of the vinyl, and the ceasing of vinyl pressings, its sales were still there though smaller in percentage. Additionally, many vinyl record thrift shops existed wherein sales may or may not have been added to the total vinyl sales.
If you’re worried that this popularity will be short-lived, then worry not. It will not die down that easily.
#5 IT OFFERS BETTER LISTENING EXPERIENCE
Since the pandemic, people have been cooped up in their houses listening and streaming their favorite songs. This has become so redundant for many that people looked for other more engaging ways to listen to them.
And one of the most engaging ways is to listen to them on vinyl records. Vinyl records give listeners a better listening experience than any audio format can ever give.
Before you can listen to your favorite album, you first have to look through your vinyl collection. Then you have to remove the sleeve from the jacket, then the record from the sleeve. You will then have to put the record on the turntable, spin it, and then drop the needle on the record.
Aside from this ceremonious way of listening to music, the artworks also give listeners something to look at, ponder on, or appreciate when listening to the album.
#6 VINYL RECORDS ARE MORE CUSTOMIZABLE
There have been ways to customize vinyl records even before the format was replaced by compact discs in the early 1980’s. Some of the earliest customization being custom colored vinyl records and records that had pictures on them, also called picture discs, first emerging in 1908 and the 1940’s respectively.
At present vinyl records can be designed with anything you can think of. If you want glitters, leaves, or even moving liquid, like your own blood, or just colored water, as your design, then you can have it! You can also have custom vinyl records that glow in the dark or have vinyl records with unique shapes.
#7 HIGHER QUALITY OF CUSTOM VINYL RECORDS ARE AVAILABLE
In the past decades, custom vinyl records have been offering lower sound quality compared to the standard black ones. Most custom vinyl records that gave lower sound quality were the glow-in-the-dark and picture disc ones.
However, present copies of these types of vinyl records have shown improvement. Now, it all depends on the quality of your masters and the pressing plant you choose to have your vinyl record pressing.
If you haven’t found a pressing plant yet, try contacting us, UnifiedMFG, we’ll be happy to have you.
#8 HAS BIGGER SPACE FOR ARTWORKS
With how big the vinyl record format is compared to CDs or cassette tapes, we can not deny that it offers a bigger space for your artworks. Vinyl jackets are known for attracting fans and other vinyl collectors with your artwork, but that’s not the only thing now that you can have your artwork printed on.
There has been a growing trend of inner sleeves being printed with artwork and it just added to the albums attractiveness. Moreover, there have been additional inclusions like posters you can add for your vinyl album, like photo books, posters, photo cards, and even stickers.
#9 VINYL RECORDS HAVE HIGH SOUND QUALITY
I must admit that vinyl records were never better, in terms of sound quality, than CDs or digital releases. It’s all about preference, yes, but right now most audiences’ preference are on vinyl records, so why not release vinyl records?
For the record, vinyl records still have high sound quality, especially since it’s an analog format where no music information is lost during its translation.
In addition, vinyl records also reveal more nuances and small tone or pitch changes of the vocalist since there’s no need to get a part of the sound waves and have it translated into numbers.
#10 PRESSING PLANTS OFFER ON-DEMAND OR SHORT RUN VINYL PRESSING
Here’s another reason why you must go contact a pressing plant now and have your own vinyl pressing done. Almost, if not all, pressing plants are now offering their customers short run vinyl pressing which is very advantageous for you guys.
This short run vinyl pressing service lets you have small orders of maybe a hundred or two copies. This means that there’s no more minimum order to meet and lesser cost to pay. It’s great for new independent artists that are still struggling with their money.
#11 FULFILLMENT AND WAREHOUSING SERVICES
It can be very hard to store vinyl records in your house if you don’t have space for them. Additionally, vinyl records need a not so warm and humid place to not warp and not become positively charged, which is what causes the record to attract dust.
Fortunately, many pressing plants now offer fulfillment and warehousing services. This service lets you have your vinyl records stored under your pressing plant’s warehouse after vinyl pressing and have them ship it to your fans or buyers when you say so.
This adds to the price you have to pay though, so think it through and check your budget.
Now that vinyl records are gaining more audience, it would not be long before more and more musicians would release in the format. I suggest you beat them to it and be one of the firsts before it becomes more popular. And with pressing plants offering short run vinyl pressings, I’m sure we’ll reach that popularity in no time.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.