The Importance Of The Physical In The Digital Age
We invited the crowdfunding platform Qrates to explain how they are helping to power the future of music on vinyl
Even though we’re now living in a world where everything is being consumed digitally, we’re seeing a huge resurgence in vinyl sales. The UK is seeing the highest amount of transactions made this side of the millennium and for music fans, the idea of owning a physical element of the music they love is hugely popular.
Why is there such a renewed interest in this area? Owning vinyl records for a music fan can hold any number of symbols such as nostalgia, audio quality, an art piece, a memory of a specific time and place. The physical feel of the artwork, the size, the weight – these characteristics are missing from digital music and can’t be replaced so easily. It’s twofold, in that older people are getting back into vinyl and the younger generation are now discovering music in a format that they’ve never seen before – and the excitement is shared among all. Vinyl records offers a special and unique listening experience.
People just think that this young generation are only streaming music, but actually, we’re seeing that they are wanting something quite tangible and real. That’s where vinyl records is taking on the role that CDs once occupied. Even though streaming is a rocketing trend, it’s helping to lead fans into owning it in a physical way via vinyl. Streaming music has only encouraged this music and vinyl discovery.
But, how does one go about making a vinyl record? Why can’t it be as easy as posting or uploading a song on name-your-music-service-of-choice?
Here at Qrates, being an on-demand marketplace and crowdfunding platform helping to power the future of music on vinyl, we recognise the importance and celebrate music being on a physical medium. Since launching in 2015, we have hosted 1,409 crowdfunding projects submitted from 59 countries and pressed 62,678 vinyl records for 243 vinyl releases. We’re always looking to make life easier for both the experienced and first-time upcoming labels, emerging artists and songwriters to press small quantities of vinyl by offering modernizing technology and cutting out the middleman. That’s why we’re listening to feedback and constantly reviewing our product to ensure our customers are experiencing an easy process and transaction.
We’ve just introduced a bunch of new features with the biggest update being our Pre-Order function. This will allow artists to adjust ordering quantities until they are ready to press their record, so that the project doesn’t rely on the success of them reaching their crowdfunding target goals.
Along with an improved vinyl builder, new look and other updated functionalities, we’ve essentially made it easier than ever before for fans to discover and back new music, or labels and artists to develop vinyl records.
For songwriters especially, Qrates is a great tool to realise their music in the physical format in the form of the hugely popular vinyl record. We want to create equal opportunities for everyone, even if you’re an emerging artist or a songwriter, so that their music is released onto vinyl. Using Qrates won’t end up costing a fortune as small quantities of vinyl can be pressed but still profitable. Without financial commitments, songwriters and artists can launch a project on our platform.
There are a number of other reasons why vinyl has seen a comeback. The experience of vinyl is proactive and ritual like. The needle needs to be moved over for the vinyl to be changed or flipped over. It’s an engaging experience. There’s also the thrill of the hunt. Music fans will venture out to local record stores, markets, and shop – in the quest to discover their new treasured vinyl record. It’s creating a community feel. Record shops are now a place for like-minded people to come together and connect. They can discuss the latest releases, new music and even boast about rare finds.
For 2018, we see the resurgence in vinyl continuing. It’s growing each year and with events such as Record Store Day, which has become a nationwide phenomenon, and the new shops selling vinyl – it’s clear there is no sign of it slowing down. We’ve seen supermarkets such as Tesco stocking vinyl and even Sainsbury’s launching its own-branded vinyl albums.
For more information and discover the new updated Qrates, visit qrates.com