Joe GransingerFriday,19 July 2013

The Snap:

Universal Music is considering a repress of classic records using The Vinyl Project, their new initiative to bring back rare and deleted vinyl through crowdfunding. While having access to classic LP’s would be convenient, does UMG — the largest record label in America — really need help funding this venture?

The Download:

As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve officially joined the vinyl bandwagon. There truly is something different about listening to an album in this strange plastic-y format. It almost forces you to pay attention and listen to the music, instead of letting it become background noise — something that’s all too common in a world full of multitaskers with iPods, Spotify, and smartphones.

And on that note, I’m fairly excited about this project. It’s fantastic that Universal is re-releasing old vinyl and giving the younger generation an opportunity to own some very rare and expensive LP’s. Since most novice record enthusiasts aren’t able to spend $50 -$100 on one album, this could be an easier and cheaper way for them to enjoy a few rare masterpieces.

The only problem I have with this project is that they are crowdfunding the costs, like a Kickstarter for vinyl records. The basic idea is great, but UMG is not the company that should be doing this.

I’ve already signed up to participate in the project, because I want more classics to be readily available on vinyl, but it didn’t put a smile on my face like it should have. Supporting Universal Records is like supporting Wal-Mart. You don’t exactly want to do it, but sometimes they’re the only place that has what you want.

UMG’s revenue rose to roughly $5.9 million in 2012. Not a small chunk of change. Why they can’t invest a few thousand dollars on what seems to be guaranteed profits is beyond me. Oh, and UMG’s parent company, Vivendi, pulled in $3.78 billion in net income last year, so they’ve got plenty of money to throw around.

Participating in a Kickstarter project should make anyone feel good about themselves, but when the company asking for help is a multi-million dollar corporation, you don’t get that same warm-fuzzy feeling when you give them the money.

Will I support this project? Sure, because I like the general idea of it. But I also think it’s absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary for them to even ask for funding.

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Hat Tips:

FactMag, FMQB, Image Credit: Flickr

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