When vinyl no longer turns round in France - Companies

When vinyl no longer turns round in France – Companies

Shortage of raw materials, disproportionate increase in price passed on to the music lover, bottling at pressing penalizing independent labels: vinyl is emerging from its virtuous furrow.

Since the revival of vinyl in France five years ago, it has been a buoyant niche market, with growth of 10.2% and 4.5 million units sold in 2020 in the country, according to the National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing (Snep). From now on, there are several crackles around the turntables. First of all, “a price policy that increases unreasonably” and “endangers our record market“as recorded in a recent press release by the Syndicat des Musiques Actuelles (Sma) and the National Federation of Independent Labels and Distributors (Félin).

Because the shortage of raw materials — collateral damage of the health crisis that can be found in other industrial sectors — is passed on by the record majors to the retail prices of vinyl (there is no unique, unlike the book).

In crazy dimensions“, denounced to AFP Christophe Ouali, member of the management of the Group of Independent Record Stores (Gredin). This manager is mainly targeting Warner and Universal, as well as, to a lesser extent, Sony, whose increases apply to less than references based on their findings.

– “Very unhealthy game” –

At some majors, the prices have risen to 30-40 euros, it’s a very unhealthy game“, also told AFP Aurélie Hannedouche, from Sma. This concerns what are called catalog funds, i.e. the records of emblematic artists. Christophe Ouali, who notes median increases around 35%, evokes a “ criminal short-term calculation”. And to illustrate: “+Nevermind+ by Nirvana (which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year) saw a 40% drop in sales in June after an increase; the (cult) banana album by the Velvet Underground and Nico, went from 20 to 30 bullets , suffered less than 80% of sales”.

“With the confinements, some have put records back on the turntable and have remade a discotheque at the déconfinements, in a consumer frenzy that hits stocks: when + Harvest + (a must for Neil Young) will return to stores between 45 and 50 euros, customers are not going to take consumer credit to buy it,” he thunders again.

Artists also have cold sweats. Dominique A, who will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his first album “La dimple” next year, opposed on Facebook to Warner who wanted to “operate” on the price of his vinyl “significant increases”. Either “contribute to making the disk an object intended for the privileged”.

– “We are at the end of it” –

“The second half of the match may be whistled at the start of next year with the assessment of the collapse in sales. It’s a lot of exhaustion, we’re at the end of it,” breathes Christophe Ouali.

The shortage (of polymer, essential for vinyl) also causes a traffic jam in the pressing factories. This is the other annoying point. The record majors reserve “the production chains, because they have larger volumes, have priority”, laments Aurélie Hannedouche. This harms the independent labels (1,500 in France, according to Sma and Félin) which also produce vinyl. Gold, “the Christmas period is very important for the physical market of independent labels“, continues the head of Sma. The musical genres they represent – such as rock and pop – cannot rest on the digital market, unlike the urban music, dominant aesthetics courted by the majors.

And those placed on the waiting list must now absorb manufacturing times that have increased from 8-13 weeks “to 6-9 months, it’s the time of a pregnancy!”, growls Christophe Ouali again. Even anticipating, the delays are there, like “Mr Maserati”, Baxter Dury’s best-of, with a staggered release from December 3 to February 11, 2022, at Pias which therefore misses the meeting under the tree.

AFP called on the French branches of the majors. “No communication,” says Universal. Warner and Sony did not respond.

Since the revival of vinyl in France five years ago, it has been a buoyant niche market, with growth of 10.2% and 4.5 million units sold in 2020 in the country, according to the National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing (Snep). From now on, there are several crackles around the turntables. First, “a price policy that increases unreasonably” and “endangers our record market” as recorded in a recent press release by the Syndicat des musiques contemporaines (Sma) and the National Federation of Independent Labels and Distributors (Félin ).Because the shortage of raw materials — collateral damage of the health crisis that we find in other industrial sectors — is passed on by the record majors on the retail sale prices of vinyl (there is no unique price, unlike the book). “In delirious dimensions”, denounces to AFP Christophe Ouali, member of the management of the Group of independent record stores (Gredin). This manager is mainly targeting Warner and Universal, as well as, to a lesser extent, Sony, whose increases apply to fewer references according to his findings. – “Very unhealthy game” – “At some majors, prices have risen to 30-40 euros is a very unhealthy game”, also told AFP Aurélie Hannedouche, from Sma. This concerns what are called catalog funds, i.e. the records of emblematic artists. Christophe Ouali, who notes median increases of around 35%, evokes a “criminal short-term calculation”. And to illustrate: “+Nevermind+ by Nirvana (which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year) saw a 40% drop in sales in June after an increase; the (cult) banana album by the Velvet Underground and Nico, passing from 20 to 30 balls, suffered less than 80% of sales “.” With the confinements, some have put records back on the turntable and have redone a discotheque at the déconfinements, in a frenzy of consumption that hits stocks: when + Harvest+ (a must-have for Neil Young) will come back to stores between 45 and 50 euros, customers are not going to take out consumer credit to buy it,” he thunders again. Artists also have cold sweats. Dominique A, who will celebrate next year the 30th anniversary of his first album “La dimple”, opposed on Facebook to Warner who wanted to “operate” on the price of his vinyl “significant increases”. Either “contribute to making the disk an object intended for the privileged”. – “We’re exhausted” – “The second half of the match may be whistled at the start of next year with the assessment of the collapse in sales. It’s a lot of exhaustion, we’re exhausted “, blows Christophe Ouali. The shortage (of polymer, essential for vinyl) also causes a traffic jam in the pressing factories. This is the other annoying point. The record majors reserve “the production chains, because they have larger volumes, have priority”, laments Aurélie Hannedouche. This harms the independent labels (1,500 in France, according to Sma and Félin) which also produce vinyl. However, “the Christmas holiday period is very important for the physical market of independent labels”, continues the head of Sma. The musical genres they represent – such as rock and pop – cannot rest in the digital market, unlike the urban, mainstream aesthetic music courted by the majors. And those placed on the waiting list must now absorb production times that have increased from 8-13 weeks “to 6-9 months, it’s the time of a pregnancy!”, growls Christophe Ouali again. Even anticipating, the delays are there, like “Mr Maserati”, Baxter Dury’s best-of, with a staggered release from December 3 to February 11, 2022, at Pias, which therefore misses the meeting under the tree. AFP requested the French branches of the majors. “No communication,” says Universal. Warner and Sony did not respond.

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