Whether or not you have a record player or are interested in buying your first one, you might have some ideas about rooting around in a record store to start building your collection. Although record stores are always a good place to start, for some people, they might not be that accessible or you might not have any decent ones in your area.
While it’s always great to support your local independent record shops, nowadays, you also have a choice of trying out online vinyl subscription services that could offer something different to add to your collection.
But then begs the question, which one? There are many subscription services on the market and plenty of vinyl fans that enjoy collecting and playing records. To help you get started, we have composed a guide to some of our favorites. Below are five of the top-notch vinyl subscription services that you should know about.
If you are a fan of creating a mood with your music and having some food, this is one excellent option for a vinyl subscription. Their mission is to connect food with music, and they feature recipes with fresh ingredients for their ‘Musical Pairings.’
When you become a subscriber, you can get a monthly digital mixtape, an exclusive seven-inch single, as well as three seasonal recipes with one or two ingredients included. In addition, they have a few options for their three record-of-the-month club. Their options are labeled as Coffee & Vinyl Pairings, the Sounds Delicious (full-length covers), and then their featured Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box, a food and music experience where you can discover new artists and enjoy an original menu. So pair your turns and your tastes together with this one-of-a-kind subscription.
Recurring subscriptions are around $25.00 per month.
If you are more of a special edition collector, this is the option for your vinyl subscription. As a subscriber, you choose from four tracks each month depending on the genre or style you are looking for. Vinyl Me, Please then provide you with some options. Their choices include Classics, Essentials, Hip-Hop, and Country.
This particular company works with the artist and the label for your deluxe exclusive 12 inch that includes added features like lyric books, artwork and notes, and colored vinyl. They give you the option to change your track or even swap out the record you received for a different one. Another pulse is they don’t auto-renew your membership.
Their three-month membership is currently billed at $119.00, six months at $219.00, and a full year for $399.00.
Stylus Vinyl is a great option for vinyl lovers just beginning their collection and wanting to include all the classics. However, they are a UK-based company, so keep that in mind. They handpick their selections to fit your preferences best, pouring both their love and creativity into your unique, custom design.
With a new theme every month, this service curates a selection of tracks on a 12-inch vinyl to best fit you. If you opt for the Stylus experience, you also get the bonus of a fabulous bottle of wine (or just another vinyl if you don’t want the wine), as well as access to regular playlists and the company’s online magazine.
The monthly subscription for the whole experience is around £45.00.
If you’re new to the world of vinyl or part of the younger generation, this is the more engaging, social-media-driven type of vinyl subscription service you can opt for. You can connect accounts like Soundcloud, Instagram, and Spotify that help their team pick new albums for you based on your listening and playlists.
Subscriptions provide listeners with up to three new vinyl records each month, with an included note explaining the rep’s choices for you. You can pick your own #vibe based on your music tastes. If you’re not sure what to choose, they provide you with a current vibe list (and the hashtags) to give you an idea of how you can select them to create your profile.
David Katz of Marmoset music licensing studio has helped artists releasing through VNYL, and according to him, there are many who prefer to take the DIY route to which subscription services provide a user-friendly and engaging space.
Right now, there’s a sale on their subscriptions, so one month is only $19.99 (originally $39.99), a three-month is $69.99, and a full year is $299.00.
For those who already have significant collections going and want more artists to discover, this is the best record club for you. It is made up of a mixtape on vinyl, and each new release is paired with original artwork for a unique experience.
Emerging artists are featured frequently, so you don’t have to worry about records containing something you might already own, which is a huge plus. The founder and music curator (Brandon Bogajewicz) makes an effort to research and find the best new music, partnering with a visual artist to create a remarkably crafted record jacket. In addition, every shipment includes a lyric booklet with band information, free shipping, and some other perks for you within the online shop.
Monthly subscriptions are $34.00, but if you pay three months upfront, it’s $33.00 per month, and if you pay for an entire year subscription, it’s $31.00 per month.
More Vinyl Services on the Horizon
With the popularity of vinyl subscription services continuing to grow, it’s no wonder some of the big players are getting involved. Amazon are already taking charge in developing their own vinyl subscription service like the ones mentioned above, which might ‘irk’ some vinyl fans being a huge corporate company (and the manner in which we’ve seen some records being packaged and sent by the company in the past…)
Overall though, the majority of record subscription services can offer you something different, a more unique and crafted experience that can be worth the extra dollars… but don’t forget to support your local record stores when you can!