Short-run vinyl record pressing or custom vinyl pressing is hot again. Photo credit: Rawpixel.
When vinyl records made a significant comeback in 2006, music industry experts thought it was just a glitch in the system, a fad that would die out in a couple of years. However, its demand rose steadily to the point that in 2020, vinyl records surpassed CD sales.
Now in 2021, it is still as hot as ever. In fact, especially with many companies offering affordable short-run vinyl pressing, it seems like it’s become a must for any musician to release an album on vinyl.
For those in an indie band planning to make their own custom vinyl record pressing, here are some reasons why they’ll be making the right decision if they press some.
Why is there a demand for custom vinyl pressing again?
#1. Simply put: People are Buying Vinyl Records
Musicians won’t keep making vinyl records if they know no one will buy them. Otherwise, they’d lose money. Vinyl is still winning with sales that’s up 94% in 2021 and revenue of $467 million.
People are realizing that yes, Spotify is cool and easy, but we all still want something we can truly own.
#2 Vinyl Pressing is not Risky Anymore
Unlike musicians in the olden days, artists don’t have to worry about losing a ton of money for pressing vinyl.
Thanks to the internet for making pre-selling easy, and for vinyl plants that offer short-run vinyl pressing as few as 50 pieces, musicians can now have an idea of the demand of their vinyl before it’s even pressed.
Because of this, artists can make smart decisions with good estimates as to how many records they can press.
#3 Vinyl Records are Fancy Collectible Items
No matter how practical we are, if we see something cute or pretty or badass from our favorite artists; we’d be willing to throw precious money just to get our hands on them.
This is something that digital simply cannot offer. What would artists do with digital files that could make them as valuable as vinyl? It’s hard to think of any. Press 7-inch vinyl records in picture discs or splatter for those who want something that’s collectible.
#4 Vinyl Legitimizes an Artist as a Musician
Every single day, a new musician or band tries to make an album. Heck, even one’s neighbor who just bought his guitar a month ago could release one if he puts his heart into it.
How can artists separate themselves from the newcomers who’re simply dipping their toes? By releasing vinyl, of course. People don’t buy CDs anymore, streaming is free-for-all…so you have to release something that only the musicians who are in it for the long haul are able to do—release badass records! Now, not everybody can do that.
#5 Vinyl is a Good way to Promote a Band
For artists who want people to think they’re hotshots (which they are!) releasing custom vinyl records will definitely do the trick.
Releasing vinyl will not only make them know an artist is capable of it, the vinyl record itself will also make them know a lot about the artist themself.
Everything about the vinyl record will be a reflection of the musician — the songs of course, but also the design of the artwork, the packaging, the color of the vinyl, the freebies…it directly says something about the band. In other words, vinyl is a great tool for branding.
#6 You’ll Feel Awesome About it
Wouldn’t it feel good to have a physical proof of the band’s music? Twenty or fifty years down the road, they will look back at their music career and have something to show off that’s not just a digital file.
It feels good to see this passion and hard work “in the flesh” so to speak. And it’s a much better feeling to hand it to someone, pretty much how an author would feel if they sign a book and give it to their fans instead of just having them download an audiobook.
There are just so many benefits for pressing a vinyl record that it’s simply a missed opportunity for those that won’t give it a try.
For those who are unsure, try to make a mock-up of a vinyl and just ask fans if they’re willing to buy the records if a batch is pressed. We’re sure they’ll be excited to pre-order.
Indie bands are making their own vinyl records in 2021, and other artists should too.