Vinyl Manufacturers To World: “We’re Still Here, Dammit!”

Brian Raftery | February 22, 2007 9:50 am

Thanks to CDs and MP3s, vinyl records mostly appeal to a small amount of consumers noawadays–sort of like pogs, or American-made cars. But this Associated Press story about Nashville’s United Record Pressing indicates that some wax-workers are still thriving:

…Vinyl still accounts for a small percentage of music sales. Last year 858,000 LPs were sold, compared with 553.4 million CDs, according to Nielsen SoundScan. While the 2006 figure was up slightly from 2005, the overall trend has been down from 1.5 million in 2000. [Company CEO Cris Ashworth] believes the data are skewed, though, because a lot of vinyl is sold in mom and pop stores not reflected in the SoundScan numbers.

His company has managed to thrive by picking up business from rivals in a shrinking market. Today, he has only 13 competitors, compared with several dozen before CDs took over in the ’90s. Revenue hit $5 million in 2004 and grew to $7 million in 2005. Last year saw significant growth over 2005, Ashworth said.

A majority of that business comes from hip-hop and dance artists eager to get their songs into the clubs, and we’re guessing additional revenue is supplied by well-off nerdophiles who need their virgin-vinyl reissue of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. But perhaps the most interesting tidbits in the story are about the 45-year-old plant itself, which includes a “party room” that once hosted a Wayne Newton birthday party, and even features a furnished apartment that hosted out-of-towner Motown producers during the segregation era.

Record maker puts his stamp on music history [AP, via]