The Vinyl Revival is not such a new concept. Vinyl took a pretty brutal beating starting in the 80’s and continued through the early 2000’s, given the particularly active evolution of the sound recording medium. From, cassettes to the compact CD and the Sony Walkman, to the digital revolution, the iPod and iTunes, the Vinyl medium was all but eliminated from our culture. It makes sense; vinyl is much bigger, bulkier, more expensive than the current forms of listening to music, and harder to purchase. In terms of most practicality measures, Vinyl doesn’t stand much of a chance.
However, clearly practicality is not everything. Starting in 2006, renewed interest has been instilled in Vinyl and sales have been growing year over year. In fact, in 2015 Vinyl still shows good promise. It is currently the fastest growing music segment. According to RIAA’s 2015 mid-year stats, it has experienced a staggering 52.1% growth in just one year. Even digital streaming barely grew half as fast. Even more incredibly, Vinyl sales are actually larger than revenue from ad-supported streaming (which includes Spotify, Youtube, Vevo, etc) by a good margin (221.8 versus 162.7 million dollars).
Whatever the reasons are that Vinyl has been making a comeback, whether it be cultural importance, heightened sound quality, more meaningful start to finish experience, gift giving potential for friends and loved ones, or just the fact that it is a good-looking physical and material product, it is clear that investor capital will once again flow towards it.
In fact, recently, a number of startups have emerged to take advantage of the Vinyl revival. Probably the most notable of the bunch is a company called “Vinyl Me, Please”. Here is the website below.
Basically, it is a subscription service starting at $23 per month that delivers one vinyl album to your doorstep every month. This general business model is not new to the start-up space and is known broadly as a”subscription box”. Industries such as beauty, coffee, and books have successfully implemented this same idea.
To augment the experience of receiving the album, Vinyl Me, Please record deliveries come in a sort of bundle with other add-ins. For instance, the company gives a special cocktail recipe and an album-inspired 12″ x 12″ art print to compliment the album of the month.
The company has a team of experts picking the albums which takes the difficulty out of picking albums for the customer. The curators do a good job picking albums that are vintage, historic, as well as newly released. Although many consumers enjoy the process of purchasing Vinyl’s at a record shop, there are many more who get overwhelmed by the choices available and frustrated with the hassle involved and would rather have a curated process. Also, the fact that the Vinyl is delivered to the doorstep makes it feel as though it is a gift.
Granted, Vinyl sales growth will likely bottom out much before streaming does, however, this company and other similar ones have been successful, and with each new years’ growth in Vinyl sales and interest, comes new innovative companies hoping to share the fruits of the “new” Vinyl industry.