Digital Consultant and vinyl records – those are not two words you hear together very often. I sometimes write about it in my BlackbirdPunk music industry blog. As an illustration, I research vinyl history or talk vinyl records lingo with you.
Explicitly, worrying if the end has come for vinyl. What is more, it is a category I feature on my music industry blog.
As a result, you probably already wondered why. Especially considering I work as a digital consultant in the music industry.
Before you think I’m an outdated nerd, let me explain my rationale. Here is why I have a professional interest in vinyl records.
My clients sell vinyl records
There is always a chance that a client wants to release new music on vinyl records. Certainly, it doesn’t really matter if a record company or a DIY artist.
The point here is, the clients have a need – selling the new album for example. And I am here to execute an amazing digital strategy for them.
Important to realize, most vinyl records sell over the internet anyway. Discogs, recordsale.de, Amazon, eBay you name it, they sell vinyl records.
This is crazy, Compact Discs (CD) might be dead soon. That is because everyone is on streaming platforms.
However, vinyl records might survive this and perhaps end up as the only physical product to sell.
Don’t be a digital snob
The rise of DSPs (Digital Service Providers i.e. streaming platforms) is heavily celebrated as the saviour of the music industry. However, the numbers are not quite there.
In other words, the music industry is still under huge financial pressure. That means, everything that sells is a must.
Surely, I’m not here to judge. Products that make fans willing to part with their money are more than welcome.
Here is the kicker, half of the people who buy vinyl records don’t even own a record player. They might buy the vinyl because they like the look of the cover.
Or perhaps it is simply a nicer present than a gift card for Apple Music. What I mean is, don’t be a digital snob and disregard vinyl records as a commodity just because you work in the digital field.
Vinyl records broke free from the technology life cycle and made a comeback
Just for the fact that vinyl records basically broke free from technology life cycle is interesting. Making a huge comeback after the lifespan was over in the late ’80s after the invention of the CD.
This can serve as a role model for all technology. Similar patterns appear with analogue photography which has a comeback, too.
It seems that when technology has reached approximately the third wave or generation of a product, people get curious about what was used before.
As a digital consultant, I am concerned about all things technology-based. For this reason, consumption and products as well as consumer behaviour.
Vinyl records are the new black, even for a digital consultant
Vinyl records carry more than a lot of history and great art-work. They can be a case study for the whole music industry.
What’s the bottom line? Vinyl consumption forms around overall concepts of aura, rituals and a sensibility of coolness.
Let’s depict aura as an example. ‘Aura’ in the art field was formulated by Walter Benjamin.
He developed the idea that artwork can have an aura that makes it more appealing to humans than the simple object itself.
For example, a painting can have an aura because of its artwork, beyond being a simple canvas at the end of the day. In their book ‘The vinyl: The analogue medium in the age of digital reproduction‘ Bartmanski and Woodward argue that a vinyl records artwork has the same mechanisms of ‘Aura’.
This can easily be translated into other music consumption products. If your campaign manages to create an aura around the product then your fans have an added value beyond the product itself. Therefore offering great opportunities for the music industry enlarge.
It makes a lot of sense to keep an eye on vinyl records as a digital consultant
In this post, I explained to you why in my humble opinion vinyl records are important. Even if you are a digital consultant in the music industry.
First, it is important to be up to date with the products your client sell. If their release includes vinyl records then you have to know how to sell them.
Secondly, it is important to keep an open mind about the things fans like to spend money on. Nobody can afford it to be a snob in a hard fighting industry like the music business is one.
Next, the way vinyl records made a comeback from the dead is an example to learn from. For the whole of the music industry.
Lastly, the vinyl record can be a great illustration of how humans feel about art and how this can be translated into great selling strategies.
I hope you liked the post and found it helpful.