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    Vinyl Records: People, places and things beyond headlines

    Synopsis

    The lacquer disc-making factory of Apollo Masters in California caught fire last week. It has been devastated.

    Getty Images
    Music records on sale at a market in Tel Aviv and (inset) a fire at the Apollo Masters factory in California
    I sense a retro mood.
    No, no, it is sad news. There was a fire.

    A fire? Where?
    The lacquer disc-making factory of Apollo Masters in California caught fire last week. It has been devastated.

    So? No one else makes these lacquer discs?
    There is only one more manufacturer. MDC of Japan. The incident is being called “Vinylgeddon”.

    So, how big is the vinyl records market today?
    In the first half of 2019, 8.6 million units of vinyl records were sold. That is worth $224.1 million.

    Oh, that is a lot.
    Now guess what. Around 18.6 million CDs were sold in the same period. By value, that was around $248 million.

    Which means the sales of CDs and vinyl records are almost same by value.
    Yes. And guess what, CD sales are not growing. In fact, they are falling, while sales of vinyl records are growing.

    So vinyl record sales will soon over take CD sales?
    Well, theoretically, they could, but now…

    Now?
    With the lacquer disc factory burnt down, vinyl record producers will face a supply shortage.

    Oh, oh. That is a problem.
    Not so big either. Vinyl records make up for only 4% of the music industry's revenues. Bulk of it is streaming. Only 4%...that is small. Then why are you so sad?

    Well, vinyl records are unique. The sound quality is sometimes better than that of CDs.
    Now, didn’t I say someone was in a retro mood.

    No, not retro. The latest music also comes on vinyl records.
    So whose records are sold the most? Beatles, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson…

    Retro. I told you.

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    24 Comments on this Story

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