The nostalgic hiss and crackle of vinyl records (ask your parents), the classic albums and gate-folds of yesteryear with built in scratch paranoia and occasional coffee cup ring imprinted on the artwork; all of this is usually thought of as a fond memory.
But although the trade in vinyl is now niche, there will always be ardent fans of the format, especially as the tactile aspects of music collections are lost when we turn to MP3 and other digital formats.
This doesn’t mean that vinyl can’t connect with modern technologies though, as Universal Music UK is exploring with the launch of a chain of virtual vinyl stores with fashion retailer Pretty Green and Mobile Money Network‘s instant mobile checkout app, Simply Tap.
The virtual stores will be open for business 24 hours a day in the windows of 10 Pretty Green outlets across the country from May 24 until June 10. Shoppers can choose from a dozen titles including The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street to Elbow’s Seldom Seen Kid and Ian Brown’s The Greatest.
Consumers who are feeling brave about getting records in the post will be interested to learn that the process is a deferred pleasure. Images of the album sleeves will appear in Pretty Green’s window displays. Customers who have downloaded the Simply Tap app and registered their credit card details and delivery address can then make purchases with an iPhone or Android handset.
Take a photo or read a QR code through the app to buy and then wait for the postman to bring a hopefully unscathed record to your door soon after.
Universal Music UK’s Commercial Division MD Brian Rose says, “We are seeing continued passion as well as new enthusiasm for vinyl through our online store Uvinyl and the great support the format gets from those indie music shops which are still flourishing, but by harnessing the latest technology we hope this partnership with Pretty Green will lead to much wider opportunities for selling music on the High Street.”
Fashion and music have long danced together in marketing and culture, so this connection between the two and the addition of a little new technology makes for an interesting fit. Pretty Green already has a musical pedigree as it was established by Liam Gallager of Oasis and carries clothing highlighted by the ‘Modfather’ Paul Weller.
Whether vinyl and fashion fans are also fans of mobile money apps remains to be seen, but there is always the chance that early adopters are also nostalgic for music formats can be held in two hands.