Like many of you, we were both shocked and saddened by the Apollo Masters Plant fire last week. We are thankful that no employees sustained injuries, but also recognize the hardship this will cause for many of them and their families. Our thoughts are with them in this difficult time.
Additionally, we are highly cognizant that this incident is a major blow to the vinyl ecosystem, as they are one of only two lacquer manufacturers currently in operation worldwide. With Apollo offline, there will be a shortage of lacquers, putting a squeeze on the supply side and upward pressure on timelines and production costs moving forward.
Since the fire, many of you have reached out expressing concern and asking how this will impact Vinyl Me, Please -- the short answer is that, in the near to mid-term, it shouldn’t. We have spent the past seven years building an extensive network of production partners globally who allow us to master and press dozens of titles each month at multiple facilities.
Many of our pressings are cut using DMM (Direct Metal Mastering), which does not require a lacquer. We are currently several months ahead of schedule for those titles that do require lacquers. As such, our mastering partners remain positioned to continue production without interruption via their supply and the use of MDC in Japan. Additionally, we have metalwork for all our previous pressings so any represses of past titles will not be impacted.
Long term, it is certain that someone must fill this gap and we have been in constant conversation since last week with our industry partners to help understand the full scope of the situation and offer our perspective where applicable.
With all that said, we are confident that the vinyl industry will come together to support Apollo and overcome this tragedy. There are many like us who believe in the power of the medium and the necessity for physical media in an increasingly digital age. This collective passion alongside the expertise of many dedicated veterans gives us confidence that we will find a way forward.
We take our role in the future of vinyl seriously and look forward to working with our partners to find a way forward so that we can continue on our mission of exploring music together.