FOR THE RECORD
Soaring vinyl sales prompt new music offerings
Vinyl sales are at a 25 year high, reflecting Gen Y's sense of nostalgia and their desire to supplement digital entertainment with analog options. The vinyl music industry is projected to post double-digit growth in 2017, selling 40 million new discs and generating as much as $900 million in revenue, and these companies are capitalizing on the fanfare.
Experience Vinyl partnered with Elton John, Quincy Jones, George Clinton, Talib Kweli, Sean Lennon, and more to create a vinyl subscription service and online vinyl store where each limited-edition record is accompanied by artist-written essays. The subscription service costs under $30 a month, as the primary goal of the business is to provide the new generation with unlimited access to vinyl at an affordable price. Members also have access to exclusive concerts and giveaways curated by the company's founders.
Sony Music Entertainment announced that it will begin pressing vinyl after a nearly thirty year hiatus. Growing demand from young generations prompted the decision to resume vinyl production by March next year in a factory southwest of Tokyo that's run by one of the company's subsidiaries. Sony still hasn't yet decided which genres of music it will produce, according to a spokeswoman. The firm installed an analog record-cutting machine in February, which makes master copies of records for mass production, and is now introducing a pressing machine.
In preparation for the 2017 Grammy Awards, Mastercard set-up an exclusive vinyl experience in Gibson Brands Sunset in Los Angeles that allows for vinyl collectors to purchase rare albums for just $10. Patrons sign up via their MasterPass and are able to participate in the holistic vinyl experience, in which they can by test their skills at turntables or take a break in the listening lounge. All proceeds from the vinyl shop will be donated to the MusiCares program from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which aids new artists in their musical pursuits.