Melodiya was established in 1964 as the “All-Union Gramophone Record Firm of the USSR Ministry of Culture Melodiya”. It utilized numerous recording studios and manufacturing facilities throughout the USSR as well as powerful centres of distribution and promotional strategies. The best selling format at the time was 33⅓ and 78 rpm vinyl records. By 1973, Melodiya released some 1,200 gramophone records with a total circulation of 190-200 million per year, in addition to 1 million compact cassettes per year, was exporting its production to more than 70 countries.