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Ed Sheeran and Adele. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM; Simon Emmett

  • Ed Sheeran released his new album “Equals” on Friday, three weeks ahead of Adele’s “30.”

  • He recently revealed that he finished the album in July so it could be printed on vinyl.

  • “Adele had basically booked out all the vinyl factories,” he said on “The Kyle & Jackie O Show.”

Ed Sheeran said that Adele’s much-anticipated “30” influenced his own album rollout.

The “Bad Habits” singer dropped his fifth studio album “Equals” (stylized as “=”) on Friday, three weeks before Adele’s fourth album is slated for release.

However, during a Friday interview on “The Kyle & Jackie O Show,” he revealed that he hurried to finish “Equals” two months in advance so it could be released on vinyl.

When asked if he still gets nervous to unveil new music, Sheeran said he “can’t do anything more on the writing, recording side.”

“The album wasn’t, like, finished this week and then handed in. I handed it in in July ’cause it had to get printed on vinyl,” he said. “There’s like, three vinyl factories in the world, so you have to do it really [early]. And Adele had basically booked out all the vinyl factories, so we had to get a slot and get our album in there.”

Sheeran also mentioned Coldplay, Taylor Swift, ABBA, and Elton John, since they were all “trying to get vinyls printed at the same time.”

Indeed, vinyl’s resurgence in popularity over the past decade has caused major issues for manufacturers, and the handful of remaining pressing plants around the globe aren’t able to meet the high demand.

According to Billboard, these factories “have the capacity to manufacture 160 million albums a year,” but the current demand is double that – “somewhere between 320 million and 400 million units.”

To make matters worse, there’s only one company left that produces the lacquer discs essential to the vinyl stamping process: MDC, which is located in Japan. The other, Apollo Masters in California, burnt down in February.

For top-selling artists like Adele and Swift, vinyl sales can be a major factor for chart performance. Swift’s two most recent albums, “Evermore” and “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” both returned to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 when the preordered records were finally shipped after months of delays.

For Adele, CDs accounted for about half of the sales of both “21” and “25,” her two most recent albums. But as Billboard reports, vinyl is on pace to outsell compact discs in 2021 for the first time in over 30 years. Her focus on vinyl production for “30,” then, makes strategic sense.

Sheeran is another top-selling artist, and “Equals” will likely debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

“Honestly man, there’s really no stone left unturned. I’m doing every media outlet that I can fit in, I’ve prerecorded a load of content,” Sheeran said on the Australian radio show. “I can’t do anything more. If it’s big, I’ve done everything I can. If it’s not big, I’ve done everything I can.”

“The preorders alone are like 600,000, so the label are happy,” he continued. “I don’t know if it’s going to be ‘Divide’-level, although ‘Divide’ did less than that on preorders, but it’s just a different world now. People consume music in a different way.”

Sheeran’s third album “Divide” (stylized as “÷”) was the best-selling album of 2017.

Read the original article on Insider

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