Honestly, I’m not 100% sure what impact we will have on the industry as a whole. There is no way to predict how the subscription service will impact traditional merchant channels for new vinyl, but here are the problems I'm interested in, which may be addressed initially or learnings from an initial effort.
Good Art Is Never Short of a Proper Venue
I think of music as art, even if it primarily serves as entertainment. I know some may disagree here, but hear me out.
The process of making music, no matter the genre, engages the creative process. The outcome is the sum of an artistic endeavor. Like a gallery row of metropolitan cities, curators play a major part in exposure to art and the context for how it can be experienced.
I believe that when an artist decides the music should be pressed into a physical format, they (for the most part) believe in it and that their audience will delight in experiencing it.
Like a respected gallery, we want to showcase the art that connects with us, our subscribers and to provide access to it so artists can simply thrive.
Artists & Promotership
As a designer, I’m the worst at promoting myself. However, I’m pretty good at promoting the work of other artists or designers. There’s a healthy separation from the two and it brings me a lot of satisfaction to share work that makes an impact on my life. I also enjoy catering to the needs of others; albeit as a host, connector or platform thinker.
I’ve interviewed friends and folk who also share a rather busy professional lifestyle and time isn’t always a luxury when it comes to digging into record bins, blogs or even scrolling through a playlist. Some just hit shuffle, skip, like, and go. But these same people love the record format and the same way they would consult with a sommelier (wine buyer) or chef/cook, trust the opinions of those who have made curating and tastemaking their life’s work.
To bring both art and appreciator is why I created Crates is High. And to see both ends thrive as a result of this service is the core purpose of my work.
Record Stores, Accessibility, and the Internet
I may discover that record stores subscribe to the service as a means to dialing into what is happening in our music culture and decide to carry a release in their store.
I want that to happen!
The problem isn't that there isn't good music available. It's that there is a lot of noise to sift through and radio has become less about
Because I understand the opportunity and challenge with global access to our music (because of firewalls, language barriers, content overload) my job to skim the fat and showcase the best Hip Hop and its inspired music has to offer.
The internet continues to grow at the size and pace we engage, create and pour into it. Even I find it challenging to keep up with the output of art that is in a renaissance period.
And the Internet is great for research, publishing, and outreach. However, I firmly believe the best way to experience music is either live (in the proper sound and contextual environment) or a physical recording—the vinyl record.
By bringing artists and an audience together through a service, I believe directly benefits artists through subscribership, promoter following. New and existing audiences benefit through having a discerning channel that purveys the music they enjoy and artists have a shot are more sustainable careers.
Thank you for peeping and be sure to drop me a line if you rep a label, are an artist or have some thoughts on how to approach the work out of the gate.