In 2019, Americans purchased $226 million worth of vinyl records. This marked the first year since 1986 that record sales volume outpaced that of CDs.
But the re-birth of this classic music medium is facing some new challenges. There are only two manufacturers worldwide who produce the lacquer that’s needed for making master discs. One is California-based Apollo Masters.
In early February, a fire at Apollo's facility in Banning, Calif., wiped out a big chunk of the manufacturer’s plant and storage area.
Apollo reportedly accounts for about 80% of blank master lacquer discs globally. One pressing company said this would be a “disaster for the vinyl pressing industry,” and that it “will directly affect all vinyl plants.”
In a statement on its website, Apollo Masters expressed gratitude that no employees were injured in the blaze, but called its future “uncertain.”