Insound profits on vinyl/digital double play

Insound is a US music retailer with a fresh twist, it sells vinyl but also makes MP3s of what it sells available to buyers – a business proposition music lovers seem interested in, Billboard reports.

The retailer has only secured permission to sell 500 albums in this new combined format, including releases from the likes of Sub Pop and Matador, but the scheme has seen Insound’s vinyl sales double in the last 18 months, the report claims.

“Our gross margins and pricing model for vinyl are the exact same as that for CDs. However, there is one major difference and that is the elasticity of that margin. We don’t discount vinyl often because consumers believe that vinyl is worth the suggested price,’ said Insound co-founder Matt Wishnow.

I’d like to see more like this, more specifically, I’d be interested to see high street retailers offering a service to create vinyl from digital files, more specifically, turn up at the shop (I see it as something you’d find in a key-cutters stall or supermarket), show the files which are contrasted to the database, and high quality format songs are burned to vinyl on the spot.

This service could see a licensing fee paid into the artist’s pot to help compensate for file-sharing, and I suspect people would use such a service (so long as it didn’t cost stupid amounts of cash) quite regularly, particularly after they lost their first collection in a computer crash.

I know this is pie in the sky thinking, but I also know that relatively inexpensive solutions to create vinyl from digital formats already exist, so it’s by no means impossible. Other than for stupid licensing restrictions, of course.

PS: Why do you need vinyl rather than CD? Face it: CD is not a permanent format, for all the hype (and the extra royalties demanded once by the labels), vinyl is far sexier, this kind of bespoke vinyl-burning should appeal to serious fans, and might even raise the value of ‘real’ vinyl.

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