Writer: Yi Jiu
In the past ten years, vinyl records have shown an amazing “growth trend” in the shrinking market of physical music and achieved a great “Renaissance”. According to Nielsen Music, vinyl record sales increased more than tenfold from 2007 to 2017.
The global sales volume of vinyl records in 2017 is estimated to surpass 40 million, hitting a new record high since the 21st Century. The data shows the 18-to-35-year-olds are the most powerful vinyl customers.
In 2015, Pacific Audio & Video and CRC (China Record Corporation) Shanghai’s vinyl production line was put into use. In 2016, Universal Music Group entered China and developed custom-made vinyl. In 2017, Sony Music surprisingly restarted its vinyl production line that was stopped 29 years ago.
Soon afterwards, JD and the music company Modern Sky launched the vinyl plan and vinyl record player in succession. As for the contents, many Chinese singers of older and young generations also released their vinyl albums one after another.
Thanks to the quality upgrading of music consumption, it is possible that more and more youngsters will accept vinyl music. However, the traditional vinyl record player has some shortcomings.
Firstly, it is a complicated system, including player, preamplifier, post-amplifier and speaker; secondly, the large-sized player is not easy-to-carry; thirdly, it is so costly that the package price for an established brand is more than 8,000 yuan; at last, its design is old-fashioned and not in keeping with modern aesthetics.
As a result, these barriers shut young customers out of the world of vinyl record.
Those People (那些人) intends to make an anti-traditional vinyl record player.
In the view of Those People, anti-tradition means that besides the preservation of the sense of ritual and texture of vinyl music, the improvements in appearance, function, price, and portability are also required:
- Those People adds graphic design in the vinyl record player for 20 to 40-year-old customers and makes it exquisite, simple, light and portable.
- Functionally, the new vinyl player is chargeable, and it can be used during outdoor travel for 15 hours and last through 20 vinyl records. Moreover, the player is equipped with an independent Bluetooth speaker, which can be separated from the body, and can be played in stereo within a scope of 3 kilometers.
- The player has an 8mm aluminum turntable and a moving-magnet stylus that has the same quality with Sony’s vinyl player.
- The bare price is 2,000 yuan.
The added value of music is the greatest charm of vinyl. Just like that you won’t drink a cup of instant coffee in a cafe, customers will not be satisfied only with the industrialized products from the production line if economically permissible.
Vinyl music and digital music is like tea ceremony and bottled tea. For the former, the pain point is the experience, while for the latter, it lies in the standardization.
But for the new customers, in addition to having a starter model, the combination of the vinyl record and a long cycle is the best solution for the market of educational customers. “The integration of software and hardware” is a proven good method.
For example, the British startup Trax & Wax provides customers with four different music-style subscription boxes, each containing 12 records, which customers can choose according to their preferences and needs, and these records will be delivered monthly and quarterly.
Those People intends to follow this approach. All the player purchasers will automatically join the Vinyl Membership Club and can get professional recommendations according to their personal preferences and their records regularly. Founder Zhang Chenxi said that records would be sold to members at a cost price and they could exchange the records between each other.
In order to stimulate consumption among consumers, Those People launched the repurchase program called “Buy Vinyl and Make Money”, in which, one year after the purchase, the records without damage are for repurchase at 110% the purchase price.
The production line for the model Panda One has been put into operation and the products are expected to come online by the end of this year.
As for channels, it will start from overseas crowdfunding then enter the Chinese market. At home, the finalized online channels include JD, NetEase Cloud, Modern Sky and other potential customers. Offline channels include bookstores, the third space, cafes, etc. In the future music festivals will be combined with product marketing.
About the business model, the main revenue is from the “record player + album” membership dues income. In addition, “to customer” model can make use of the membership system to launch a slew of derivative services about music content, such as performances, salons, and gifts; “to business” model covers corporate customization, IP derivatives and so on.