Vinyl record production was reduced drastically with the introduction of the CD. But it’s now making a big comeback among young people. Czech record producer GZ Media is profiting from the trend and is poised to buy a record printing company in the US.
“Nobody expected the vinyl records production to come back in such a strong fashion,” Michal Sterba, GZ Media director general, told the Associated Press in an interview.
As a company, it knows something about ups and downs. Previously called Gramofonove zavody Lodenice, it has been making vinyl records since 1951.
But just as the Cold War ended, CDs started taking over the market. The company’s output hit a record low of about 300,000 records a year in the mid-1990s. The days of vinyl seemed to be numbered.
Then in 2010, the market began to bounce back. The company’s output ramped up dramatically to 18 million last year and an estimated 25 million this year.
GZ Media also is due to acquire a majority in an existing vinyl plant in the United States with a capacity of 3 million records. Sterba would not reveal details.
“Our main goal is to become No. 1 or 2 on the U.S. market in a couple of years,” he said.
But the trend is obvious. Sales in the United States reached almost 17 million units last year, putting revenue at the highest since 1988. It’s also more than the revenue made by ad-supported, on-demand services like YouTube, free Spotify and others, RIAA said.