I have done everything within my power to help. Third Man Records began focusing on vinyl in 2009, hoping to highlight its broad potential to reach even the farthest reaches of the music industry. In 2017 I furthered my commitment by opening Third Man Pressing… a plant that is always open to anyone and everyone who walks in the door and wants to record, from bedroom hip hop artists to field recording documentaries. . And in the past year, I’ve doubled down and invested in even more record presses, more employees to run them, and more shifts to try and accommodate the insanely growing demand for a vinyl product.
There are people who will say—Isn’t it good for the Third Man? Demand more than you can handle? To which I say, even though Third Man benefits in the short term, in the long term it ultimately hurts everyone involved in the vinyl ecosystem given the constraints and delays. Something needs to be done.
While vinyl investments and structures as a whole have originated from independent companies and investors over the past decade, the larger problems we see now require major solutions.
In this spirit, I turn to our collegial big brothers in the music world, Sony, Universal, and Warner, and humbly urge them to help reduce this unfortunate backlog and help ourselves to be free from suppressing plants. I begin to dedicate resources to construction.
To be clear, the issue isn’t big label vs. small label, it’s not independent vs. mainstream, it’s not even punk vs. pop. The point is, we’ve all created an environment where the unprecedented demand for vinyl records can’t keep up with their primary supply.
Around the world, there are now a few new companies manufacturing both automatic and manual vinyl presses. Buying a vinyl press is now easier than it was in the past four decades. And with more helpful innovators every day to help advance every aspect of the industry, it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. It’s not a matter of mind.
We are all on the same team with similar goals. I truly believe that with a good faith in the infrastructure that we have got here, we can continue on this upward path and further inspire the world around us. now is the time. Thank you.