Vinyl Record Albums in Brazil
So many people are buying vinyl record albums these days that Wikipedia now has an entry entitled “Vinyl Revival.” Vinyl records were first challenged by the invention of the cassette tape and Walkman, followed by the first digital music format, digital tape (DAT). This technological innovation then led to the Compact Disk (CD). Today most young people store all their music in digital format on their computers, tablets, or phones and don’t own any CDs.
However, despite the digital revolution, something has kept the vinyl market alive. The pre-digital, analog format of music produced on polyvinyl chloride had been the main vehicle for the commercial distribution of music from the 1950s until the 1980s and 1990s. Since the turn of the millennium, CDs have been partially replaced by digital downloads. However, in 2007, vinyl sales made a sudden small increase, and by the early 2010s, they were growing at a rapid rate. In some countries, vinyl is now more popular than it has been since the late 1980s, though vinyl records still make up only a small percentage (less than 6 percent) of overall music sales.
While reports about the continuing vinyl boom are true, it’s not much use if there aren’t more pressing factories to create new vinyl albums and meet the demand. Currently, the only vinyl record producing factory in Latin America is Rio de Janeiro’s Polysom, which produces 40,000 vinyl albums a month. Unfortunately, this production isn’t sufficient, and record producers still have wait times of about two months.
The situation looks to be improving, however, with the announcement of a new vinyl factory that will quadruple Brazil’s record production. To be located in São Paulo at the former site of Continental Records, Vinyl Brazil will be up and running later this year. The factory will be able to press 140,000 records a month, according to founder Michel Nath, who has been building the factory for over a year by rescuing vinyl pressing machines from junkyards. “Vinyl production still has room to grow in Brazil. The factory will provide an important service to the cultural scene,” he said.
Though many sales in vinyl are of modern artists with modern styles or genres of music, the revival has sometimes been considered to be a part of the greater revival of retro style, since many vinyl buyers are too young to remember vinyl being the primary music format.
In November 2014, it was reported that over one million vinyl records had been sold in the United Kingdom in 2014 alone. Sales had not reached that level since 1996. Pink Floyd’s The Endless River became the fastest-selling UK vinyl release of 2014, and the fastest-selling since 1997, despite selling only 6,000 copies.
Along with steadily increasing vinyl sales, the vinyl revival is also evident in the renewed interest in record shops (as seen by the creation of the annual worldwide Record Store Day), the implementation of music charts dedicated solely to vinyl, and an increased output of films dedicated to the vinyl record and culture.