The new website offers Kickstarter-style funding for vinyl releases.
Releasing vinyl can be a luxury for independent labels and artists right now, with high costs, high minimum pressing amounts, over-booked pressing plants and low margins deeming it a hard task for some.
Good news for those hoping to press vinyl but put off by the risks: Tokyo start up QRATES is launching a system hoping to solve the issue. Through their site, artists and labels can use a Kickstarter-style funding and pre-order system to collect the pressing budget before manufacturing vinyl, pressing releases from a minimum of 100 copies. The pressing begins when the designated amount of preorders is reached, where you set the price, and QRATES takes 15% on each sale. With this system, if there is enough demand for the product, fans can purchase it, meaning no dead stocks and carefully curated profit margins.
QRATES also offers flexible digital promotion solutions such as free downloads, the chance of sending exclusive merchandise and content to fans as well as selling other releases and back catalogs through the customised QRATES store.
To see the process for yourself, have a go at designing your own vinyl and check out the projects currently being funded, head to the QRATES website.