While the frequent delays in vinyl production have been well-documented before the pandemic, the new supply chain issues have put wait times at a new high. Especially for independent or smaller artists who don’t have the financial means to skip the line, or pay more to have more pressings done simultaneously, the wait can completely alter an album’s release cycle. And since Adele announced her new album, 30, vinyl production has been a hot topic of conversation. In a recent interview, Ed Sheeran remarked that not only did Adele turn her album in early in order to jumpstart the pressings, but that he and other artists were impacted by her production schedule, too. This sparked a bit of outrage from smaller artists, who felt that the British diva had impacted the manufacturing schedule for everyone, but a new report from Billboard shows the delays aren’t all Adele’s fault.
“While an order of an estimated half a million records is nothing to scoff at, manufacturing delays have been an issue since vinyl demand spiked in July 2020,” writes Billboard editor Lyndsey Havens. “Coupled with supply-chain and labor issues, in addition to shortages of raw materials like PVC and paper products, delays were destined to happen — and now, at the end of 2021, are expected. Recent estimated turnaround times according to multiple pressing plant and label sources are averaging six to eight months.”
So, the delays aren’t Adele’s fault? Nope, they only make up 0.3% of the total vinyl that’s able to be pressed in a year. “As Billboard previously reported in June, pressing plants around the globe have the capacity to manufacture about 160 million albums a year and current demand more than doubles that,” Havens continued. “At most, Adele’s 500,000 units would amount to 0.3% of the total vinyl records manufactured this year.”
Check out her full Billboard report here, and feel free to pre-order your Adele vinyl in peace — or you know, go easy on her!