Launched in mid July, Vinylize.it looks to fulfil a gap in the market for customised vinyl records. The site interacts with SoundCloud, lets users get on board with like-minded music fans and then lets the artist or label know what fans want. It’s basically crowdsourcing vinyl and flipping the production process on its head.
According to Taishi Fukuyama, Vinylize.it’s Chief Marketing Officer, “Artists and labels can go into this, knowing there are people who want these records, already signed up. It has profound implications. We’re basically introducing vinyl on demand.”
Vinylize.it matches vinyl-hungry listeners and musicians, tailoring manufacturing to demand. The process for music lovers is easy. Users can import their favourite tracks or playlists from SoundCloud to Vinylize.it. When the campaign reaches critical mass, usually with around 20-30 supporters, Vinylize.it searches out the artist. If they are agreeable, they will upload high-quality vinyl-ready files (not streams or mp3s, of course) whereby users can buy their dream record.
This new approach to vinyl comes from the folks at Qrates, the Japan-based company that merged crowdfunding and small-batch, just-in-time vinyl production. Their brilliant logistics team makes sure that records are pressed quickly and sound amazing, solving a problem that has long plagued the music industry.