July 18, 2024

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Retailers, Covid-era nostalgia revive the vinyl records industry

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A stack of freshly pressed gold vinyl records at United Record Pressing.


This story is part of CNBC’s new quarterly Cities of Success series, which explores cities that have been transformed into business hubs with an entrepreneurial spirit that has attracted capital, companies and workers.

Once considered a dying industry, the vinyl record business has undergone a remarkable multibillion-dollar resurgence in the past decade. It has been fueled by popular artists such as Taylor Swift and major retailers including Target and Walmart, along with a growing wave of consumers rekindling their love for the nostalgic format during the Covid pandemic.

“Never in a million years did I think it would, as a market and as an industry, become what it’s become today,” Mark Michaels, CEO and chairman of United Record Pressing, the largest vinyl recording pressing plant in North America, told CNBC’s Andrea Day in the upcoming primetime special “Cities of Success,” which airs Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. ET.

United Record Pressing CEO Mark Michaels inspecting a vinyl record.


The global vinyl record market was valued at $1.98 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $4.12 billion by 2030, according to Verified Market Research. More than 41 million vinyl albums were sold in the U.S. last year — the highest number since 1988, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

United Record Pressing has become a major player in the vinyl market, producing approximately 40,000 records daily at its Nashville, Tennessee, facility. Founded in 1949 as Southern Plastics, the company has a rich history of producing vinyl records for iconic artists, including The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Adele and Jack White.

But the company was facing an uncertain future 16 years ago when Michaels acquired it.

Second wind

The vinyl record industry had been in decline for several decades due to the emergence of more convenient physical formats such as cassette tapes and CDs, a decrease in the…

2023-12-04 16:20:40

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