If Metallica has become a music industry machine over the years, it’s not just thanks to their music. After the Pro-Ject collector turntable based on the Metallica logo, the metal band has acquired a majority stake in Furnace Record Pressing, one of the largest and most important vinyl pressing companies in the United States. If anyone had any doubts about the growth of vinyl sales (which have surpassed last year’s sales of CDs for the first time since 1987), this new Metallica acquisition is a clear reminder that trends are cyclical and old things often come back into fashion. Something that is reflected in their participation with the Duffer Brothers for the Stranger Things series.
Vinyl records are experiencing a renaissance among music lovers. Although Metallica hasn’t released a new album since 2016, the band sold more than 387,000 vinyl records in 2022, according to data from Billboard. The ceators of Master of Puppets, who are ranked sixth in the number of best-selling artists in the United States, surpassed 337,000 album sales in 2021. After such a success, it’s easy to understand why the iconic metal band thought of making their own records. The price paid by Metallica for Furnace has not been disclosed, but the musicians will now sit on the board of Furnace.
The band’s decision follows manufacturing bottlenecks in the industry in recent years, as vinyl, which has been in hibernation for 25 years, continues to regain momentum. Vinyl sales, which have been on the rise for 16 years, overtook all other physical media in 2022. Jack White describes the move as “remarkable” and points out the cleverness of the band to invest in profitable ventures related to music.
All of this, along with the state of the music market, seems to have prompted the group to invest in Furnace. Approximately 900,000 vinyl records from Metallica’s extensive catalog were produced in 2022, and that number will likely increase with their new investment. According to James Hetfield, the band’s singer and guitarist, the goal is to allow fans to “continue to have access to high quality records in the future.”
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The next album, entitled 72 Seasons, will be available on April 14, and we can expect a substantial stock of vinyl. Metallica singer/guitarist and co-founder James Hetfield said the partnership means fans will have “continued access to high-quality records in the future.”