Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have given money to projects as disparate as mobile apps and the preparation of a potato salad, but now, there’s QRATES, a new service that’s aiming to serve aspiring artists and labels trying to get their work pressed on vinyl with help from the consumers who would later purchase it.
The revival of vinyl demand is obvious, but what’s not so clear for up-and-coming artists is how to get their music on the resurgent format. What QRATES hopes to do is simplify the process by assisting in the funding, pressing and selling of vinyl records.
The process goes like this: The artist can upload their music, design the label and sleeve of the record, choose the playing speed (33 1/3 or 45 RPM), determine the weight and color of the record, and indicate how many records they’re aiming to have produced. From there, fans step in and attempt to fund the album by pre-ordering it.
QRATES allows artists without astronomical followings to press as few as 100 copies of their record while taking a 15 percent cut of the sales. The site also allows artists to offer digital pre-order bonuses and sell their records with other merchandise like T-shirts and concert tickets.
Most importantly, vinyl’s comeback has been widely reported, and what QRATES does is allow quality music from musicians with limited resources to be available on the en vogue format.