Jack White tells major labels to open their own record pressing plants amid vinyl shortages: “You’re either part of the problem, or part of the solution”

“A small punk band can’t get their record for 8 to 10 months,” White says of the current situation

Jack White has called for Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony Music to build their own vinyl pressing machines in response to vinyl shortages causing releases by smaller artists to be delayed by months.

The guitarist delivered his message through a video posted on his Facebook Page on 14 March, where he can be seen walking through the manufacturing plant operated by his vinyl pressing service Third Man Pressing to deliver his message.

Explaining that the explosion of popularity in vinyl has made it increasingly difficult for smaller artists to release vinyl albums, White elaborated, “A small punk band can’t get their record for eight to ten months.”

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“I ask the major record labels – Warner Brothers, Universal, and Sony – to finally build your own pressing plants again. As the MC5 once said, ‘you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution’.”

White first established the Third Man Pressing manufacturing plant in 2017 under his Third Man Records record store in Cass Corridor, Detroit. The manufacturing plant specialises in creating both solid colour and custom coloured vinyl for artists, and claims to be the first plant to utilise environmentally efficient pressing machinery and has been engineered to reduce sound pollution.

The explosion of popularity for vinyl records has caused a shortage amidst high demand, with even Ed Sheeran admitting on an Australian radio show that he had to finish his album Equals two months early to ensure his records were printed before Adele – and even Adele had to get her record 30 to vinyl printing presses six months in advance due to existing delays.

In 2021, the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that vinyl album sales grew by 94 per cent in the US during the first quarter of that year. A survey carried out by MRC Data showed that Gen Z consumers are buying more vinyl records than millennials, leading to a 94% sales jump in vinyl records in 2021.

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