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Martin Guttridge-Hewitt
15 January 2024, 12:10

Vinyl production too expensive for most independent artists, new survey reveals

Less than 13% of people putting out music can afford to press their music on wax

Vinyl production too expensive independent artists

Pressing vinyl has become too expensive for the vast majority of independent artists, a new survey has revealed. 

Vinyl sales in the UK have been growing for 16 consecutive years, with the latest figures from the British Phonographic Industry showing an 11.7% increase to 5.9 million units during the 12 month to 2024 and 250,000 bought in the last week of 2023 alone. However, new research by distribution company DITTO suggests just 12.8% of musicians surveyed could actually afford to release their music on vinyl. 

54.4% of respondents said prices involved in pressing and distribution were too high, while 9.9% believe the overall process takes too long, with delays and bottlenecks the reality at most production plants. More than one-quarter of artists surveyed — 28.7% — don't believe their fan base would be interested in vinyl and prefer to use funds on other merchandise. 

There were significant differences in terms of how prevalent vinyl is across age groups and genres, too. The older the artist, the more likelihood there is of them putting out a vinyl release, with 34.4% of those aged 55 and over pressing physical music, falling to 8% for 17-year-olds and younger. Meanwhile, rock was the most common style of music to find its way onto vinyl, with 14.9% of artists opting for a physical release, followed by alternative (13.8%), electronic (13.6%), hip hop and rap (respectively 12.7% and 8.4%). 

You can read the full report here

Revisit DJ Mag's long form feature on the numerous issues that have threatened the vinyl revival.

Vinyl pressing survey Ditto Music