House label Local Talk on the pitfalls of vinyl: “It’s too much work just to be nostalgic”

Founders Mad Mats and Tooli say that despite the rise in popularity of vinyl, it’s still hard for independent labels to make a profit.

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Browsing vinyl LPs in record store

Photo: Ian Laker Photography/ Getty Images

House label, Local Talk, has revealed the downsides to vinyl production, especially for independent labels.

In a new interview with MusicTech, founders of Local Talk, Mad Mats and Tooli, admit that despite the rise in popularity of vinyl in the 2010s and 2020s, it’s still hard for independent labels to make a profit.

“I got a statement for one of my other labels,” explains Tooli, “and actually sold out a [vinyl pressing run]. It’s quite rare these days that you sell out the first pressing. And by doing the calculations, I made €120.” He adds: “It’s too much work, just to be nostalgic.”

Instead, the label says it’s easier for independent labels like themselves to garner income through streaming services.

“[Streaming] makes it so much easier for people to actually hear the music,” says Tooli. “People can choose how they want to consume our products because we make sure it’s possible to listen to them through different stores and digital streaming platforms. We’re not working with a smaller distribution company that doesn’t have many shops. All of a sudden, it’s possible for people all over the world to listen to music 24/7 whenever they want, and we’re not excluding anyone.

Despite vinyl reaching it’s highest sales since the ’90s, as revealed in September 2022, overtaking PlayStation games as UK’s second largest selling physical format, Local Talk has made it clear that digital has opened up avenues that were no longer viable.

“When we started the label, we said we’re not going to limit ourselves to a format and we’re going to make sure we’re releasing music that everyone can listen to. We’re not aimed towards DJs or we’re not aimed towards people in the US or we’re not aimed to record collectors. That one specific type of music is going to be available for everyone. So, yeah, digital has made that possible.”


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