If you follow the music business, you already know that vinyl records have made a huge comeback in the last few years. Audiophiles know there’s nothing quite like placing the needle on the turntable and hearing the warm sounds from their favorite LPs. LPs are not only prized for their rich sound, but also for the artwork and liner notes, something you can’t get with a digital MP3.
A new service aims to help LPs junkies get their fix. The Sound of Vinyl is a record store and delivery service, created by the Universal Music Group. The service has been available in the UK and Australia for a few years and recently rolled out in the US. The service has over 20,000 titles from every major label, plus indie titles. Sound of Vinyl also plans to offer exclusive, limited edition runs of from 500-1,000 colored vinyl selections from the Universal Music Group catalog
What makes Sound of Vinyl unique is their discovery engine. Upon signing up, you give the service your mobile number. You’ll then be texted a quiz to determine what types of records you enjoy. Once you complete the quiz, you’ll be texted daily with recommendations, including artwork and pricing. To improve your recommendation algorithm, you can text back “lie” or “dislike” (kind of like ‘Tinder for Albums’). If you text back “Yes,” you ‘ll be sent the album in five to seven business days.
And if you see an album you like, you can text Sound of Vinyl – if it’s in stock it will text you back an offer to buy the LP. The process makes album buying more accessible, since many areas just don’t have stores that carry vinyl, and some may be intimidated by going into small indy record shops.
If you don’t want to buy via text, Sound of Vinyl also sells records right on the website. The site features limited edition releases and curated collections from musicians and producers like Henry Rollins and Young Guru, Jay Z’s engineer, and DJ.
Henry Rollins said, “This site is a combination of discovery and education. I want to reach that one kid in Montana alone in his room with the Joy Division poster on the wall, and convince him to buy the first Velvet Underground album on 180g vinyl. I want them to hear ‘Led Zeppelin II’ the way I first did. It’s the kind of experience they won’t get listening to an MP3 on their cell phone earbuds.”