Vinyl pressing could be really expensive especially if you compare it to digital distribution. BUT it is totally worth it. Selling vinyl doesn’t only make you look absolutely LEGIT, it also helps in marketing your band. It automatically adds instant cool points and personality, doesn’t it?! Of course, you don’t need any convincing. Who doesn’t want to release in vinyl? No one, seriously. So if you really think about it, the main factor is the cost. But you shouldn’t be too intimidated. There are many ways to cut down your vinyl pressing expenses!
NUMBER OF COPIES
Like any goods, the more you order, the cheaper it gets per piece. The price difference is more apparent in vinyl. That is because the most expensive part of vinyl manufacturing is the actual cutting of records. Every order, from one piece to a hundred thousand, requires record cutting. Here is a rough estimate of the prices for 12 inch.
100- $1580 ($16/ pc)
500- $2625 ( $5.5 /pc)
1000- $3820 ($4/pc)
3000- $9450 ($3/pc)
Of course, your primary consideration should be how many copies do you expect to sell that’s why pre-orders are awesome. Also, our minimum order is 50. The standard selling price of vinyl for $15- $25.
I’m sure you’re thrilled to make fancy vinyl especially if you’ve seen our totally awesome Pinterest page with 1000s of cool vinyl designs. We hope you won’t get discouraged by the fact that the fancier your vinyl is, the more expensive it is to make. If you want to have multiple colors or splatter or clear with leaves or blood in them (yes, totally possible), don’t expect the same price as the standard vinyl.
These are the standard colors we offer (these are still cheaper than custom-made ones with unique designs and materials):
Opaque vinyl: black, blue, red, violet, & yellow
Transparent vinyl: red, blue, orange/gold, green, crystal clear, and coke clear.
Mixed vinyl: random colors
***If you choose mixed vinyl, each record will be unique and could come in different color combinations and patterns.
The 180 gram record is considered “audiophile quality” because it’s believed to sound better, it’s less likely to warp than the 140 gram, and it looks durable. If you want the 180g, of course you have to pay more.
Here is a rough estimate of the price difference for 12” vinyl:
Standard vinyl sleeves are cheaper than vinyl trifold jacket and custom-made packaging. White or light-colored artwork is much cheaper than darker, more colored ones because it uses less ink. Every single aspect of your design has a specific cost. If you want to save a lot, choose a standard package and come up with minimalist artwork. If you want something more creative than usual, expect your costs to go up but there’s still a good compromise. Talk to your designer about what you want, then you can contact us anytime and we’ll give you advise on how to save more without making boring vinyl packaging. We’ve been doing creative cd/dvd/vinyl packaging that are still very economical.
SUMMARY: Vinyl is cool but it is not cheap to make. Ask yourself the following questions: 1. Do you think you can sell vinyl to your fans? How much are they willing to pay? The thing is… we really can’t know for sure but there are ways to make a smart guess on this like asking your fans directly, viewing statistics, researching on other bands similar to yours, etc ; 2. If you’re not that confident, are you’re willing to lose some hard-earned money so you can make a few records? The trick is to be realistic with your numbers if ever you’ve decided to release vinyl. Anyway, you can order more if you run out of stock!
P.S: If you need advice, our CEO, James Hill, is a very generous A&R guy. Don’t hesitate to contact us!
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/vinyl and merch company in LA.