Is there room for vinyl mailing services in a world dominated by digital downloads and online streaming?

Vinyl record sales boomed in 2014 with over nine million records sold, notably the highest the industry has seen since 1991. In the world of electronic music, many veteran artists such as Kaskade are backtracking to release material via vinyl records, proving that the "old-fashioned" trend is slowly making its way back into the music scene. Even events such as Electric Zoo 2014 have also hosted a Vinyl Only stage, which admittedly sounded increasingly more "natural" than some of the other stages. However, with digital downloads and online streaming leading the industry into the future, its arguable if vinyl has the potential to make a resurgence.

Generally, the aspect of physically owning the content heavily influences the demand for vinyl records; but now, vinyl subscription services offer an interesting approach to the vinyl experience. Services such as VYNL and Vinyl Me, Please have introduced the modern way of listening to vinyl records, morphing the concepts of mailing services and the growing vinyl record trend.

With VYNL, customers choose several categories of music ranging from "lazy Saturday" to "cooking," which will be mailed to their home each month. Once they’re finished, the customer sends back the records, or can choose to keep them for $12 a piece. The service aims to infuse various genres of music the listener may or may not be already familiar with. Vinyl Me, Please takes this abstraction one step further by implementing a multisensory experience that is truly unique in the industry itself. Similar to VYNL, Vinyl Me, Please mails subscribers a vinyl record with an art print and even a cocktail recipe fit for the specific genre of the album. 

VNYL, vinyl subscription with hand-curated records and LPs delivered to your door from VNYL on Vimeo.

"[The inspiration for VNYL] was taking some of the best parts of Beats, Spotify, and SoundCloud and translating them into a tangible experience,” said VYNL founder Nick Alt.

Although these subscription services put forward an opportunity to reconnect with an outdated past time of the music industry, they fall short of their intended purpose. Simply put, why does the industry need a service that tells customers what they should be listening to when there are innumerable amounts of streaming services via the World Wide Web? Digital downloads are relatively inexpensive, and streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud, and more offer the same experience virtually. Overall, these vinyl subscription services seemingly fall short of their "Netflix for vinyl" intentions.

[H/T: Fact Magazine]

Cover photo via Huffington Post

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