America’s largest vinyl record pressing plant in Nashville, Tennessee, will be expanding its operations to include a second warehouse full of record-making machinery. United Record Pressing LLC toldThe Tennessean on Monday that it plans to add 16 presses to its present 30, and it will use the remaining space in the new warehouse as storage to meet a robustly growing demand for its product.
While we’ve been seeing an upward trend in the vinyl record industry for years now, those increases are becoming more noticeable, and this latest news from United Record Pressing reflects that in a tangible way. The company’s new location is a 142,000-square-foot warehouse in Nashville that it bought for $5.5 million.
United Record is attributing the good times to digital music sales. “Our belief is that it’s being driven by the rise in digital,” Jay Millar, the company’s Director of Marketing, told The Tennessean. “People who want something tangible and the best sound quality and experience are going to vinyl as opposed to CDs.”
Millar also told the paper that the company is currently working its 30 presses 24 hours a day, six days a week.
Nielsen’s SoundScan reported that 6.1 million vinyl records were sold in 2013, up from 4.6 in 2012 and under 1 million in 2007. But as The New York Times reported last year, “manufacturers, specialist retailers, and critics argue that SoundScan’s figures represent only a fraction of actual sales” and perhaps only account for as little as 10 to 15 percent of total vinyl sales, because Nielsen tracks records sold, rather than records pressed, and many vinyl manufacturers don’t print bar codes on their record sleeves, so sales from independent shops that don’t report to Nielsen don’t get counted.