Indie Music

Self-Imposed Music Scarcity In The Digital Era

1Although streaming is the dominant form of music consumption, and seems to be here to stay, many listeners are turning to vinyl-only, or cassette-only record labels to obtain their music.


By Glenn Peoples of Pandora 

Pitchfork has an interesting article today on vinyl-only record labels. They reside in music’s underground but for some people they’re a necessary alternative to digital downloads and streaming. But it’s hard work. Buying and listening to vinyl can be like walking ten miles through the snow to get music that’s readily available online. Releasing vinyl is hard work for a record label, too. The test pressings. The manufacturing delays. The product damaged during shipping.

1Not that streaming will be threatened by these labels. Streaming is the present and the future. But for some people, streaming and physical Said Kevin McHugh, owner of Delft Records, to Pitchfork, “It almost feels as though there are two very separate scenes, with far less crosstalk than I anticipated.”

There are also many cassette-only labels out there. Bandcamp is a good place to find cassettes by indie bands. If you want to work really hard to enjoy music, listen to cassettes. The sound quality is poor, skipping tracks is a hassle and cassette players can be hard to find. But cassettes feel even cooler than vinyl — maybe the extra work is more rewarding.

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