The Vinyl Record Manufacturers Association Announces Data Partnership with Futuresource

The Vinyl Record Manufacturing Association & Making Vinyl has announced a new partnership with the UK-based Futuresource Consulting. The market research company will be the official data partner of the Association, producing a Global Vinyl Market Report for the VRMA and the annual Making Vinyl conference.  The data will include annual, quarterly, and regional reports on the vinyl pressing volumes, product breakdowns, and the number of active plants and pressing lines, in addition to highlighting key trends. 

The first findings will be presented at the Making Vinyl Conference in Nashville June 4-5. The annual Global Report will be available to all VRMA members in good standing at the end of 2024. "VRMA is excited to partner directly with Futuresource to finally obtain reliable numbers in a historically fractured data landscape for vinyl record manufacturing,” says VRMA President Dustin Blocker. “ This partnership will enable our membership to have accurate numbers to forecast and make real-world business decisions about their company's direction, as well as, help lean out, or bulk up, their on-hand raw goods.”

James Duvall, Principal Analyst for Entertainment who is leading this project said, “Futuresource is excited to be involved with this partnership. With the support of the wider manufacturing industry, this will be the first time that we’re able to generate an unparalleled picture of the volumes involved in pressing vinyl at a consolidated level. Through this data collection, our aim here at Futuresource is to provide those in the industry with the knowledge and understanding of how vinyl demand is evolving at a global level, whilst also establishing key trends for different vinyl sizes and how the power of fandom and collectors are influencing standard black vs colour pressing. We can’t wait to get started and look forward to working with Making Vinyl and the VRMA on this project.” 

The change in Luminate, the entertainment industry’s preeminent data and insights company, reporting system for physical sales from indie retailers, was the catalyst for the partnership. Historically, these numbers were algorithmically calculated,  and the transition to direct reporting from independent retailers at the end of 2023 was implemented, with less than 5% of retailers onboarded to the new process. The VRMA publicly expressed their frustration at the small number of record stores contributing to the weekly sales activity acting as the representative base for the entirety of the Indie Retail market segment in a joint statement with the Vinyl Alliance issued on December 4th, 2023 which can be read HERE.   The VRMA is committed to accuracy in data and reporting, and this change is a dramatic departure from the former practice is one that will unfairly minimize numbers, creating a seismic change in providing true insight into the importance and scope of both physical media and independent retailers and their impact on the makeup of the music business landscape.

"Understanding the intricacies of vinyl record manufacturing isn't just about preserving the past; it's about steering the future,” says VRMA Managing Director and Making Vinyl founder Byran Ekus. “In an industry driven by nostalgia and innovation, having comprehensive data on vinyl production is paramount to navigating its evolving direction."