New LP Company VNYL Aims For Unique Twist on Subscription Model


Or, a disruption of both the subscription club and an homage to the grab-bag method of scoring random wax.

By Uncle Blurt

It was just a few days ago we got the news that vinyl album sales in the United States jumped a whopping 52% in 2014, compared to 2013; go HERE to read “Thoughts on How/Why Vinyl Sales Surged in 2014,” our analysis of this and predictions for the trend as we go forward. Now, with uncanny timing, it appears that an enterprising young start-up aims to capitalize on that trend with a Netflix-like subscription-type service.

As Rolling Stone reports, the new VNYL company, founded by 35-year old software/app developer Nick Alt, is officially launching in March following a successful Kickstarter campaign that’s about to wind up. Backers will get their premiums in the mail in mid February, and the general public will be scoring shortly after that. Here’s the way it will work, says RS:

“For a monthly fee, members of the just-launched venture VNYL can choose from a list of categories, called “#Vibes,” and receive records in the mail much in the same way they used to receive Twin Peaks Season 1 DVDs at home before streaming services. Although it is not set up like Netflix, in the sense that members select the records they want, VNYL still caters to subscribers. Once a member has selected a hash tag classification (#lazysunday or #danceparty, for instance) the company will send three albums curated to fit the “vibe” by the VNYL staff. The service costs $15 a month and allows members to spend as much time with the records as they would like, keeping the ones they love and sending the duds back using pre-paid shipping. The cost of keeping an album will run between $8 to $12.”

Apparently CEO Alt was initially inspired by the likes of the Sub Pop Singles Club and the Vinyl Me, Please service. For his iteration he’s aiming for”the ease of music streaming, the mix-tape feel of a playlist site and the inclusiveness of the local record store to create something more personal than those sites currently offer.”
Whoah. I am in a… fonky mood. Can I get some James Brown with those fries and that shake? There are some obvious flaws here – potential ones, to be fair to the company; it depends on how much this whole thing has been thought out for the entire string of production. (For example, what happens when someone with a shitty, album-eating Crosley turntable returns the album that winds up getting sent to YOU next time around, hmm?)  And I’m not totally sold on that hashtag-category aimed at characterizing my moods, The aforementioned “vibe.” But it will be fascinating to see how this all plays out.

 Read the RS article or check out the VNYL details at their (very flashy, and kinda cool) Kickstarter page – watch the video especially.


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