Vinyls are back in business.
While Spotify may boast 60,000 uploads per day (and rising), global music lovers continue to turn back the clock and collect music in the classic LP format. In 2020, the US recorded a historic high of 1,842 million LPs sold.
The resurgence has been steadily growing, leading the few vinyl presses under increasing pressure to meet demands. In 2018, Swedens first pressing plant Spinroad Vinyl Factory opened in Gothenburg.
In Finland, the current pressing plants, such as the soul mecca Timmion Records and Royal Mint Records, cater to niche groups or short runs. The newly established Helsinki Record Press (Puristamo) aims to meet the broader, growing demand by starting production of vinyl records at Vallila Konepaja’s old power plant later this year.
“There are already presses in all the neighbouring countries, so why not in Finland as well. We want to serve the domestic music field extensively, from beginner bands to large record companies,” said Lupu Pitkänen, the founder, DJ and CEO of Helsinki Record Press.
Similar to the location of Sweden’s Spinroad Vinyl Factory, the new factory will also be situated within a historic building, in this case, Vallila Konepaja’s 120-year-old power plant building.
Vinyls growth attributed to many reasons
The debate between digital and Vinyl enthusiasts will no doubt always remain. Yet despite its detractors, Vinyl’s popularity has increased steadily alongside streamings continued growth. A sense of ownership, emotive memorabilia, and for some, an investment purchase (you can always sell LPs) are some of the factors driving the trend. Classic albums by artists such as The Beatles, Prince and Amy Winehouse are being re-pressed on heavyweight discs and these limited editions are highly sought after.
The CEO of Finland’s largest record store, Record Store Äxä, Jyri Lipponen believes in the format:
“Vinyl sells well. In Finland, the market usually lags behind a bit in time, but I see no reason why the United States’ growth rates would not be reached here. In Finland, vinyl growth is estimated to be in the 20-30% range last year,”
Aiming for carbon-neutral production
Vinyl manufacturing has traditionally required a lot of energy but Helsinki Record Press will remain driven by a carbon-neutral objective. The power plant’s chimney will remain purely as a landmark reminiscent of the Konepaja area’s history.
“Modern equipment enables consistent quality and reduces waste. The recycling rate of raw materials is also important in the pursuit of carbon neutrality,” Pitkänen adds.
In 2022, every new song uploaded to Spotify will be competing with more than 100 million tracks for a fan’s attention.
Read the source article in Finnish here.
TOP PHOTO: The vinyl factory of the Helsinki Record Press will be built in Vallila Konepaja’s 120-year-old Power Plant. PHOTOGRAPHER: Ilkka Vuorinen.