There is little doubt that subscription services are the new big thing. Whilst Netflix and Spotify are the offering all you can consume music and video through your Internet connection, other mail based services are supplying everything from coffee, to razors, to cured meats. Now we are seeing vinyl enter the mix with the successful Kickstarter campaign from VNYL.
VNYL is a subscription service, similar to the original Netflix model, whereby paying a monthly fee you will be sent three handpicked records based on your chosen ‘vibe’. Once you’ve listened to the records, you can send them back in the prepaid packaging and VNYL will send more records out. Alternatively, if you decide you like the wax and can’t let go of it, you have the option of buying the record to keep for an extra fee.
The selling point is that “humans are at the helm” and it seems VNYL are affectively getting their message across. Their Kickstarter campaign had a total of 777 backers and raised $36,000 – $26,000 more than they were asking.
However VNYL is not the first subscription based vinyl service. Both Vinyl Me Please and That Special Record offer subscription services where for a monthly fee they’ll send out a monthly selection of records for you to keep. Likewise, record labels such as No Sleep Records offer a subscription to their entire annual catalogue for one upfront fee.
The advantage of services such as these is that it takes the effort out of vinyl. In VNYL’s case, you can have a consistent variety of wax without having to spend the time going to stores. Vinyl Me Know and That Special Record allow you to expand your collection and discover new music. However, these services do rely on you trusting your taste in music with another. Also, concerns about the quality of the wax being sent could also be an issue. For this reason it’s unlikely these services will convert anyone already collecting. But they may well open up a new market of people who like the idea of playing records, but have no time for the process involved in collecting.