IndiePulse Feature Exclusive
Article / Editorial by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music Magazine Journalist
In the present Indie Music Scene, there are new labels opening on an almost daily basis, record stores have seen a new found love from the public and here in our area of California, there have been 4 new stores open and doing well, even many companies that used to make record players and accessories have turned the presses on and are making some great new equipment.
Some of us that are old enough to remember when we were in bands, dreaming of making it big, had to rely on doing so much to be heard by record labels, making records was not easy, and the record labels would make most of the money and bands made very little. Then in the 80’s, the CD came into play, not only did it boast ( an many times underdeliver) a better sound and portability, but with technology in home computing many bands could and would make their own albums, it seemed Vinyl was loosing and would almost disappear from the scene, except for the diehard audiophiles and collectors.
Then, a miracle, and again, through technology and the turn of time Vinyl came back into fashion, bands found that they could connect with the new Indie Scene, and with the help of small home based labels or smaller label companies tat valued talent and good music more than flash, band could get records made in a much more affordable fashion, but for many, it still eludes, due to need for web sites to sell their music, and even small runs of 7” singles can still cost a but more than many can afford.
Now, the game changer, a company that offers superior quality in manufacturing with a great “No Money Down” approach, allowing artists to connect with a global fan base, create music and make it available as a fine boutique and limited edition form that has ben touted as supreme and highly searched for.
Vinyl Exclusives, a company that will open their full service web portal in October, offers artists a forum to create and distribute custom ordered Vinyl Records on demand, and offers additional unique add-on’s like Autographed inserts, custom album art, personalized comments and more, think about it, you get a record and you put it on and the band says a personal thank you, to you, directly for supporting them, or you get a single with a love song as a gift to your loved one and they start the song with a dedication to them… WOW, that is awesome.
“On the site, the company says: “The Music distribution is broken. Spotify pays starvation wages, nobody buys CDs anymore, and vinyl pressing carries huge risk for artists in dollars invested, months of production time, and trying to predict customer demand. “
We spoke with David of Vinyl Exclusives to get some insight other than what is on the website, valuable info for the modern artist that wants to be completely creative and in complete control of the producing process.
IPM: Where do you see your service is an innovation over existing services like this.
Vinyl Exclusives is a first-of-its-kind service that allows artists to sell custom, one-off vinyl directly to their fans. For the first time, vinyl can be accessible to artists who don’t want to wait several months — and spend thousands of dollars — to press 100+ records.
Vinyl Exclusives is disrupting vinyl distribution in two major ways:
- Impactful finances. There is no cost, impactful royalties, and no minimum orders required. Vinyl is now available to any and all artists.
- We move at the speed of today’s music. Artists can release vinyl and streaming simultaneously, and can create special projects in the blink of an eye (like show-specific or tour-specific vinyl).
IPM: What has been the response from artists interested in using you platform.
We are launching with a number of exciting artists, spanning genres like Hip-Hop, Country, Pop, and even Comedy. The most exciting part has been getting artists on a platform that their music deserves to be on! Many saw vinyl as a distant possibility, requiring big sacrifices and planning, so it’s been exciting to show them that putting their music on vinyl is possible — and easy!
For example, we supported Matt Muse’s EP debut this month. He published an Insta post the other day, saying “I never imagined I’d see myself or my music on a vinyl”. We got to make that happen for him!
IPM: Do you see this as a “niche” market, or as a solution to a need by artists that want to reach a fan base that is devoted to this medium.
Vinyl is coming back in a big way – in fact, vinyl sales are forecast to beat CD sales this year for the first time since CDs became a thing. As more fans want vinyl from their favorite bands, more artists will need services like ours to keep up with the trends.
As younger fans engage with vinyl, they’re also bringing their expectations for personalization and individualization to their shopping experience. So our model satisfies the age-old desire for the best physical music while also meeting the needs of Millennials and Gen-Zers.
IPM: Tell us about some of the artists using the service that have been active in this service since its inception.
We’re very excited by our initial artist lineup that is launching with us on Oct. 1! I’ve already mentioned a couple, so will list just a couple exciting projects we’ve got lined up:
- Alyssa Trahan is a Country artist out of Nashville, who has seriously passionate fans. We are releasing her debut EP for the first time ever on vinyl!
- Tonina is an incredible musician out of St. Louis. She is multi-lingual, crosses many musical styles, and plays a mean bass. I saw her in concert in Chicago and wouldn’t quit until she agreed to release her latest album, St. Lost, with us!
- Taylor Alexander is a singer-songwriter out of Los Angeles, who has crossed Country, Pop, and Hip-Hop lines. We’re hosting a number of singles and EPs for him, as he’s been very prolific in the past couple years with streaming releases — that he finally now gets to match with vinyl!
IPM: What is the average cost to end user buying the records and would you say it is competitive to the small to medium size labels presently in the market.
The final product price is set by the artist, but we average about $35 for 7″ singles, and $50-$60 for 12″ LPs.
Our per-unit cost is higher than existing pressing plants, because each record is a unique creation. Even a small pressing plant requires an order of at least 100+ vinyls. Rather, we are creating incredibly “limited edition” vinyl – each one is a unique and custom creation, and we are very confident that our services provides major value to artists and fans alike!
IPM: What would you say is your biggest “success story”
We are launching our first wave of artists on Oct. 1, so we are looking forward to many success stories in the near future! Our best day so far came earlier in September, when we supported two very different but both very amazing Chicago artists with their album debuts: Matt Muse and rBrother Ryan. Both were able to create and sell vinyl for the very first time thanks to our service!
IPM: I noticed you have some great “Personal added value” options, can you tell us more.
Yes! We are able to personalize each record in ways fans have not been able to personalize their vinyl ever before.
The most exciting add-on is a personalized message from the artist – cut directly onto your vinyl! A fan can request a 30-second shout-out from their favorite artist, that will become the first track on their vinyl. It’s like Cameo, on vinyl!
Fans can also personalize their record experience with autographs, handwritten lyrics, or even adding their own photo as part of the vinyl jacket. These touches all allow fans and their favorite artists to connect in even deeper, more meaningful ways.
IPM: In closing, what would you like potential clients to know.
Vinyl Exclusives is all about getting great music on vinyl. Music distribution is broken in so many ways these days, so we exist to make life easier, more fun, and more profitable for artists.
Have a favorite artist that doesn’t do vinyl? Let them know about us! Are you an artist that wants to do vinyl but couldn’t until now? Get in touch!
Vinyl Exclusives is on the right track and wants to invite any and all artists looking to produce their creative concepts and market to a fan base looking for a unique experience.
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