Meet the "Netflix of Vinyl"
Published Jan 08, 2015We're all for vinyl subscription services, since there's a thrill in getting surprise treats mailed straight to your door. The new service VNYL is taking a different approach from most other companies on the market, however, since it treats each shipment as a loan rather than a purchase.
Like other services, VNYL periodically ships LPs to subscribers' doors. The twist is that listeners ship them back once they're done with them. The company will then ship the same records from customer to customer, and there's even a paper sleeve that allows users to write down their thoughts for the next listener(s).
If subscribers like what they hear, they can purchase the records for what the company says will be "around $12 each."
The records — or what may soon be known as "VNYLS" — aren't randomly chosen; rather, it's a curated selection of records based on what VNYL dubs "#vibes." These include fairly self-explanatory categories like "#betweenthesheets," "#danceparty" and #lazysaturday," plus some slightly more ambiguous descriptions like "#work" and "#cooking."
Numerous reports are describing VNYL as the "Netflix of vinyl." Really, though, the model seems a little closer to something like the curated clothing company Trunk Club.
It remains to be seen whether this idea catches on. After all, when it comes to sampling music on a trial basis, there are no shortage of options — Spotify, anyone? — and part of the appeal of vinyl is being able to own and amass a collection. Then again, VNYL has been a rousing success on Kickstarter, so we can expect the service to stick around for a little while at least.
VNYL is also not alone in this emerging service, as there is a similar company called Vinyl Me, Please. Others called Wax & Stamp and Klekt are soon set to launch in Europe as well.
VNYL is available in Canada, the U.S. and Australia.