Qrates adds cassettes to its independent vinyl production platform

Photo credit: Qrates

As demand for physical releases continues to grow, vinyl crowdfunding pioneers, Qrates, are turning to cassettes as the next frontier in independent income generation.

The following article is from Qrates, a proud partner of DMN.

It’s no secret that the popularity of vinyl has been accelerating around the world at breakneck speed. At the forefront of this explosion is the Tokyo-based record-making and sales platform Qrates (pronounced “crates”), which offers independent artists the ability to fund, squeeze and sell. shipping records directly to and for fans since 2015.

Weathering the storm of manufacturing bottlenecks during the worst of the COVID-19 lockdown, Qrates managed to shorten expected turnaround times below current industry standards. Now, they plan to apply the same consistency to the offering of cassette manufacturing services in the new year.

The tape, which reached its peak in the second half of the 1980s, has itself seen a surge in popularity in recent years. It has been supported by a new generation of music fans and artists who buy and publish on the format with rapidly increasing demand. In 2020, it was reported by The Official Charts Company (OCC) that in the UK cassette sales rose 103% in the second quarter alone.

Qrates marketed the world’s first crowdfunding service specializing in analog records with a growing reputation as the most reliable, cost-effective option for record manufacturing and sales in the United States and Europe. American funk band Vulfpeck ‘have continued to use the service since the release of their infamous To sleep Protest album on the service in 2017. To date, they have funded, produced, and delivered over 20 records direct to fans.

A number of other artists have also seen and enjoyed the value and quality that Qrates offers. European lo-fi YouTube streams are labels like Chill-hop music and Lofi girl (formerly Chilled Cow) have successfully transformed their audiences – which together reach well over 10 million subscribers – into paying customers and record collectors. Japan Crafted in the Abyss and Cowboy Bebop The animes saw the popularity of vinyl via soundtrack releases and independent artist covers made and sold through Qrates. Grammy Award-winning Cookin Soul dropped 13 wanted releases. Five years after its launch, the service has more than 150,000 users, supporting the production of more than 1,200 titles and the sale of more than 350,000 records.

Now the company aims to maximize the possibilities by expanding its business in the manufacture and sale of cassettes, both for the artists using their services and for the fans who buy their music.

Qrates will provide customers with more services to support sales and hence revenue and revenue, making it a one stop shop for vinyl and cassette production.

As with the existing vinyl record service, artists will be able to produce cassettes on demand with a minimum of 50 pieces. Qrates will continue to provide centralized support for make-to-order through crowdfunding, pre-order sales and delivery. Their distribution service will allow product delivery directly from the Qrates distribution center to every fan, with wholesale sales of popular works going to more than 150 record stores and distribution companies affiliated with the company.

Qrates has already entered into a manufacturing partnership, where customers can order from a wide range of color variations and product options. While the new branch of Qrates offers for independent artists is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022, they have provided a teaser site to give anyone looking to harness the power of their fanbase a glimpse into what is going on. will happen. Subscribe to their mailing list and become one of the first to try their new Qrates Cassette Service.


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