Just in time for Record Store Day 2022, a company billing itself as the world’s largest vinyl record manufacturer is investing $13.3 million on a Nashville production plant.
The new headquarters of Nashville Record Pressing will house manufacturing, distribution, and administrative functions, creating an expected 255 jobs over five years. The move comes as new industry data show vinyl record sales continue at a healthy pace.
“We’re launching Nashville Record Pressing as a direct answer to customer requests to make more vinyl and locate that new production in Nashville,” said Drake Coker, CEO of Nashville Record Pressing, in a press release issued by Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development. “We’re committed to becoming a source of pride for the community. We’re here to be Nashville’s favorite vinyl pressing plant.”
Nashville Record Pressing is a wholly owned subsidiary of Czech Republic–based GZ Media.
Vinyl records have been growing steadily in collectability over the past few years. From multicolored and patterned platters to records that are filled with sand, liquid, or candy — or even made with bioplastics — long-playing records (LPs) have been embraced by a new generation of music lovers. Dozens of independent labels offer artists’ new works in collectible editions of records made in limited batches of 500 or less. Contemporary vinyl subscription services like Vinyl Moon, Vinyl Me, Please, and Turntable Kitchen have built dedicated fan bases for their exclusive offerings.
Even pop superstar Billie Eilish has gotten in on the vinyl resurrection, releasing a glow-in-the-dark version of her Grammy-winning smash debut album, “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”
Nashville Record Pressing’s announcement came on April 19, the 14th anniversary of the first Record Store Day (RSD) in 2008. Conceived in 2007, RSD celebrates the roughly 1,400 independent record stores across the United States and thousands more around the world with a raft of specially created vinyl releases by artists across the spectrum. This year’s RSD was held on April 23, with a follow-up day planned June 18 for releases unable to be produced in time for April.
According to the April 21 newsletter of industry organization Making Vinyl, 763,000 records were sold in the 15th week of this year, a 2.6% year-over-year increase and good enough to push this year’s mark to more than 10 million records sold. While the total of 10.6 million records sold so far this year is down 1.6% from 2021, the jump was still a 0.3% improvement over week 14 of the year.
In the UK, more than five million vinyl records were sold last year, according to British Phonographic Industry figures reported by NME. That’s an 8% increase over 2020 and the 14th year in a row that vinyl record sales have increased in the country. Furthermore, figures show that vinyl sales in the UK are poised to surpass revenue from CDs this year.