As a factory in the Czech Republic has revived the era of vinyl records
Vinyl is not dead and, apparently, will live forever. The proof — a small factory in the Czech Republic, escaped in producers records.
Perhaps they are gathering dust in you attic, and maybe you twist them on the old player, but the likelihood that your vinyl records have been made in a small factory in the Czech Republic, is very high.
This factory is the parent company of the company GZ Media and located in the town of Lodenice, 25 kilometers West of the city.
Today GZ — the world’s largest manufacturer of vinyl records. There recorded everyone from the Rolling Stones and U2 to Lady Gaga and Madonna, and the total circulation this year promises to reach 30 million.
Of such success, it was impossible to conceive in the early ‘ 90s, when it seemed that the days of vinyl numbered, and music lovers in droves switched to CDs.
If in the early 70s, more than three quarters of sales came from vinyl albums, in 90-e years their share was reduced to a mere half percent.
“In 1993, production extremely decreased, vinyl almost died,” recalls Executive Director GZ Michal shterba. — if in the 90s we released only one vinyl, the company GZ would not exist.
The company became private just two years earlier, after the fall of communism. Before that, it was the state enterprise Gramofonove Zavody (gramophone Factory), founded in 1951 and produces records in the order of the largest music companies in the world. When the demand for vinyl has fallen, GZ realized that survival requires diversification. The company is engaged in the printing business and manufacturing of packaging for consumer goods.
But what is very important, she continued to produce records to satisfy the still smouldering demand.
At its worst, and 1993, the company issued a total of 350 thousand discs.
“We wanted to be last on the battlefield for the manufacture of vinyl,” says shterba.
So when in 2010 the revival of vinyl, GZ was quite ready to benefit from it.
Unlike most of its competitors, the company kept the equipment and expertise for the production of vinyl. But successful diversification has given the funds for investment in production development.
“Our competitors can buy equipment and raw materials, but to buy know-how is much more difficult,” explains shterba. Another advantage was that she was successfully engaged in the printing business and production of packaging.