No doubt you’ve noticed, if you've inhabited this planet for the last two years - the ongoing Covid crisis has generated ever-increasing production and delivery delays within all industries, more or less impactful.
The music industry is no exception to this observation. Already battered by two long years of financial decline due to canceled concerts, with both the artists and their public being unable to leave their home, it is today more than ever struck by the geopolitical events taking place between Russia and Ukraine, causing even more significant hold-ups within the vinyl supply chain. The difficult accessibility of raw materials and energy as well as their increasing price (€1500 to €2700 per ton in just a few months), in this context of saturation, further complicates the production process: specialized factories are indeed witnessing a surge in prices of around 20% to 30%, while the oil barrel approached its historical record of $140 in early March. All of these elements run the risk of a widespread energy shortage, and therefore a further increase in costs.
A delicate situation even as the latest figures from a recent report compiled by MRC Data and Billboard indicate that vinyl sales have never been so high, even surpassing those of CDs for the first time since 1991. Very exciting news for all lovers of this physical format, certainly, but which has had a severe impact on demand, which weighs increasingly heavily on the shoulders of all stakeholders in view of the months of delay and uncertainty that are coming. This phenomenal upsurge in popularity has yet to meet the proper worldwide pressing capacity. Vinyl is still a longer and more tedious object to manufacture than a CD, and although more and more factories and pressing companies are working to improve this situation, it still takes time.
All of these challenges make it difficult to complete small-scale projects, often led by small independent labels or solo artists, without a big structure behind them to help them weather this storm. Today, the smaller the productions, the more they are likely to be produced slowly and to be expensive for small labels which are already fighting to stay in the race. A pill that is likely to be increasingly difficult to swallow for our Diggers, who will see the delivery of their record take more and more time and be more and more expensive - by 15 to 20% on average.
Despite all these challenges that are completely beyond our control, we continue to believe that all projects deserve their chance to see the light of day at Diggers Factory. For us, ensuring the continuity of our on-demand service for this category of artists is more than ever our priority. We encourage our artists not to be afraid to think big in their goals - and our Diggers to continue to support their projects, because more than ever, the whole music industry needs it!