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Manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with vinyl record sales


As some people will know, vinyl records are popular again.


That's right. According to the Recording Industry Association, vinyl is now the most profitable physical format in the business. I guess nobody's buying tapes anymore.


DETROW: Some manufacturers can't keep up.

ERIC MUELLER: There's other companies who just don't answer the phone. We'll at least tell you we're not taking new clients.

INSKEEP: That's Eric Mueller, aka Skippy, the president of Pirates Press. He says record sales took off - you guessed it - during the pandemic.

INSKEEP: Chris Bell runs a smaller and more specialized manufacturing operation called One Groove Vinyl in Wimberley, Texas.

MUELLER: In the 15 years-plus that we've been running the business, the average turnaround time is probably about 14 business days. But right now we're pushing, like, five months for black vinyl.

INSKEEP: Like Mueller, his turnaround time has also gone up.

DETROW: But since things are jammed everywhere, Bell says the situation is leading to more business for his small operation.

CHRIS BELL: The other day, I just had a call from a band. They're like, can you just make a hundred to tide us over? Because a lot of these plants aren't taking orders until May of next year.

DETROW: Bell is not worried people will abandon vinyl, like the sour dough starters in the back of their fridge.

BELL: I think once you hear vinyl on a good turntable compared to, let's say, Spotify and stuff, it gets addictive.

INSKEEP: It is said to be a richer sound. And as for the long turnaround time, Mueller of Pirates Press says true fans will wait.


GUNS N' ROSES: (Singing) Need a little patience, yeah, just a little patience... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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