July 15, 2013 7:45pm PT by Colin Stutz
Which Out-of-Print Vinyl Deserves a Comeback? Universal Crowd-Funds the Answer
Universal Music has announced that it is developing a crowd-funding service to support limited-edition releases of out-of-print records.
The Vinyl Project, as it's being called, is aimed at "bringing back rare and deleted records" from Universal's expansive back catalog. According to a website recently made live where users can register and receive updates on the project's development, funders will also receive digital downloads and personalized art prints.
The service will run under Universal's vinyl-centric webstore, Uvinyl.
As CMU reports, albums under consideration for release here include classics such as The Jackson 5's ABC, Sonic Youth’s Goo, Björk’s Biophilia, Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Pulp's His 'n' Hers, Def Leppard's Hysteria, Cream’s Disraeli Gears and Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged.
Earlier this year, U.K. label Ninja Tune launched a similar service to re-release out-of-print vinyl from a team of indie labels called Beat Delete. As manufacturing costs for vinyl are much higher than other physical formats, like CDs and cassettes, and certainly digital, this business model allows Universal and other labels to secure upfront funding without the risk of taking a wash from poor sales.