VinylPost – A Subscription That Delivers
Pick a Card
Monthly subscription services saturate the market with everything from snacks to clothes. I gave Vnyl a try in the spring and was left unsatisfied. Music tastes are hard to quantify, despite what high tech algorithms and streaming services claim, and it is even more difficult to curate three records to a person’s tastes.
Less than impressed with Vnyl, I am weary of other vinyl subscription services. They are expensive; their offerings are blasé; and frankly there comes a point where you are buying something simply to buy it. Overconsumption leads to a market full of junk records and players. This also has environmental consequences. There is still space for novelty within vinyl, and sometimes the answer is in the past.
Early this month I wrote about x-ray and postcard records. These flimsy and whimsical mediums were born out of desire and amusement, respectively. Postcard records fell out of fashion in the 1980s with the advent of the cassette and CD, but there is a company that offers a monthly selection of up and coming singles on a postcard.
The appropriately titled VinylPost is a subscription service that sends subscribers a playable postcard each month. Unlike other services that promise to curate to your tastes, every subscriber gets the same postcard. This straightforward business model benefits the listener and the artists alike. Listening to new music is one of life’s few pure moments and VinylPost offers that every month. I have been a subscriber for July and August, and both artists are delightful and worth a further listen.
The cards come in an envelope that includes a short description of the artist, an actual postcard, and the postcard record. You get an idea of the artists sound before you listen to the record. The packaging is clean and thoughtful, everything in one paper envelope with minimal plastic involved. Not present is oodles of cardboard and tape, which adds up overtime.
I guess tildes are difficult to print.
Playing the record is a little tricky for me. I have a belt driven, fully automatic turntable that does not like any thing smaller than a seven-inch record. A direct drive with more control would have made the playback process a bit easier than my player, but after some fidgeting and fighting, I got the records to play.
What each months envelope includes.
Based on my research and YouTube videos, I was not expecting audiophile quality from such a thin record. At best I hope that it would not sound tinny or skip due to the light weight. I was amused by the decent playback, albeit lacking any dynamics and being a bit flat on the equalizer. It was better than expected, which for me is a win. Besides – the point of this is the novelty, not the sound quality.
Besides, a spinning postcard is quite amusing to watch.
Is It Worth It?
This is an amazing way for artists to break through to new fans unlike any other medium. Music is physically entering a home with your information all in one envelope. This type of promotion is even collectable, creating demand for your music. For the listener, $5 a month is a steal when you get new music and something collectable in the process.
Overall, I am impressed with VinylPost. The service delivers what it promises and does not waste time or material in the process. If you have a spare $5 every month, this is one subscription I cannot recommend enough.