Flying Vinyl: A Vinyl Subscription Series With Global Aspirations

1In an effort to combat the devaluation of music in culture, Flying Vinyl offers the best new alternative music, printed on gorgeous vinyl, as part of a monthly subscription series. Here founder Craig Evans discusses the origins of the company and where he sees it headed in the future.


Guest post from PledgeMusic News

When Flying Vinyl was nothing more than a bedroom project or even an idea among friends, Craig Evans still had global aspirations. It made sense that others would be just like him, no matter where they from — that music fans of any background would love to hear great new music packaged lovingly in an exquisite package. One year into their experiment, Flying Vinyl has become a legitimate enterprise well on their way to global domination.

If you’ve never heard of Flying Vinyl, it’s a monthly vinyl subscription series of the best new alternative music printed onto beautiful 7” vinyl records. Sound enticing? It should. Read on for a look at what this passionate group of music fans are doing to fight the music-as-disposable trend in culture.

Before we get into the products, I’d love to hear more about the heart and vision of Flying Vinyl. You said in the video you envisioned a global reach from the outset. Is this right?

Yeah, absolutely. We feel like music is the one universal language, and we’re putting out the best music from all over the world, so it makes sense that people in areas outside of the U.K. are able to join our community and get all of this exclusive material

What was the impetus for stepping out and doing this?

Frustration about the state of the music business, I guess. I was working in music and going to a huge amount of gigs and discovering all of these incredible artists and left wondering why a lot of it wasn’t breaking through. I think the reason is simply that there’s too much music being made now, too much noise that it’s really hard to cut through.

I was frustrated that music’s so incredibly important in society and yet people don’t want to pay for it and tech companies seem to just breeze into the industry and expect artists to giveaway all of their IP in return for ridiculously low returns. I thought that maybe I wasn’t the only one who felt like that and that someone needed to start a revolution and lead a battle against a lot of these entities that reminds people that true value of music.

Was there an a-ha sort of moment?

It was a series of things really. I remember being at Glastonbury and sitting with a few people on the hill overlooking the festival and being amazed at how huge it was and how many people there were there — it’s like the size of a small town. I thought, ‘How is it we can get all of these people to spend probably the best part of £350 going to a festival for a weekend and yet we can’t get them to spend 79p on a download?’ It’s because people will pay good money for enhanced experiences around music, for things that elevate music and make them connect with it in a more intimate way.

Then about six months later, I was just sat listening to ‘Rumours’ by Fleetwood Mac on vinyl and thought if we could just get people to listen to new music on vinyl, it would get people to properly connect with stuff they hadn’t heard before. Unlike digital music, there are no distractions or ads or whatever. It’s the perfect carriage for new music, and the idea just sort of came about from there.


As you look back on your first year, what are you most proud of?

We’ve achieved a lot in a really short space of time, so I’m proud of everything really. I’m proud of the product, first and foremost. When we were designing the packaging and the record sleeves and everything, we were 100 percent focused on quality over anything else and that really shows when you first get your hands on a copy.

I’m proud that artists we put out back in June and July are signing onto major deals now and touring globally and that we’ve already worked with real breakthrough artists like Black Honey, Swim Deep, The Big Moon, The Magic Gang, bands that are my absolute heroes.

We also put on a huge festival in Hackney to celebrate our first year anniversary and seeing a thousand people jumping around in a warehouse to ten bands we’ve put out on wax over the last year was pretty humbling.

What was the biggest learning curve?

Hmmm, good question. I actually think it’s learning to trust your judgements. We had so many people tell us this company wouldn’t work as a business, that people wouldn’t want to sign-up, that artists wouldn’t want to be involved, that we’d never be able to turn around vinyl quick enough. Every step of the way, we’ve just kept driving forward and problem solving until really those people couldn’t deny what we’d created.

Shipping global comes with obvious costs and vinyl seems fragile, which makes scaling this to a global scale seem like a major undertaking. How do you view this from your perspective?

It certainly is a massive undertaking. When we originally sat down and designed our packaging, we worked with some of the best packaging designers in the business, and when we had the final prototype we threw it down the stair eight times. Only when we could do that and everything was intact were we happy. We’ve built in all of our shipping costs into our pricing so they’re not a huge extra cost for the customer and we’re working with some incredible logistics companies to ensure that everything gets shipped correctly and arrives on time. We’re ready to take on the world, trust me.

Where do you hope to see Flying Vinyl one year from now?

Well, I think we’ve made incredible impact in the U.K. in the last year, and I hope that this time next year we’ve made the same kind of impact globally. We’re trying to start a new music revolution, and we want to grow our community of true music lovers in every corner of the world.



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