Either Americans are becoming more gullible, or companies are getting better at appealing to some people’s oversized life goal to be seen as better than the rest of us.
Case in point, this recent piece at Business Insider about Big Tech giant Amazon’s latest attempt to stab small, mom ‘n’ pop entrepreneurs directly in the heart. They’re now offering music lovers the “opportunity” to purchase vinyl records through a new, monthly subscription service. Take a gander at this scheme:
Amazon launched its newest subscription service, the Vinyl of the Month Club, which delivers handpicked “golden era” records straight to your door.
The tech giant’s venture costs $25 a month, cashing in on the growing popularity of vinyl records. The club joins Amazon’s other subscription offerings, which include services like Amazon Prime, Audible, Book Box, and Kindle Unlimited. However, you don’t have to be a Prime member to join, and Amazon covers the shipping costs.
The subscription will only include records from the 1960s and ’70s, showcasing albums by Pink Floyd, Aretha Franklin, ABBA, and more.
Here’s how Amazon talked about the “club”:
“We’ve always seen physical music and streaming to be complementary,” an Amazon spokesperson told Insider.
Of course, as mentioned above, this is in addition to their three, other platforms and their main site, whose only reason to exist seems to be stealing yet more the money out of unaware, American consumers’ wallets while finding every possible opportunity to take a knee for the Chinese Communist Party. (Aside: One of the platforms goes by the official moniker ‘Audible Plus.’ You’ve got to love how these companies try to glamorize their crappy, money-grabbing platforms with words like “plus” and “unlimited”).
And in case Amazon’s glowing vision, as promoted by these publications, has blinded you up to this point, I have bad news for you. Sure, “[y]ou can return a vinyl as long as it’s sealed and unused”….and “[y]ou can also skip a month or cancel at any time.”
But, here’s the fine print, via the above quoted review at tech site Engadget.
They (accidentally) say the quiet part out loud — this is not meant for people who actually love vinyl:
(I’ve added emphasis here)
Shipping’s included in the $25/month fee….
You won’t know what records you’ll receive as part of the $25 plan until they show up at your door
….[I]f you’ve been collecting records for a while or your tastes fall outside of the mainstream, this might not be for you.
Though their “risk-free” mumbo jumbo reads like the Columbia House “12 albums or cassettes for a penny” deal many GenXers remember somewhat fondly from our teen years, this isn’t at all identical. First off, you’re paying $25 a pop. And more ominously, and the part that most angers me and should anger any serious music fan: subscribers don’t even get to choose which album they’re going to receive “at [their] door.”
And readers, it gets even worse. The fact that Rolling Stone, the haven of hipster, music dinosaurs who still think running retrospective articles about Janice Joplin and the likes of Fleetwood Mac every month is cutting edge, actually recommends Amazon’s service as “a good investment” is all you need to know about it.
It goes hand in hand with that magazine’s core audience: largely Boomers my parents’ age who gobbled up music in the era of records and 8-track tapes, replaced them with cassettes, plunked down even more money to replace all of those with CDs, then were stymied (at least some were) by the digital music explosion in recent decades. So naturally, they’ll gravitate to what they know and love — at a premium price. God bless them: Boomers love the newest, shiniest thing. And, sadly, that’s exactly what Amazon is banking on (pardon the pun).
Think of it as a music version of the Wine of the Month Club for cultural hipsters. But the truth is you can find many classic records for super-cheap (less than a dollar, sometimes) in thrift stores, and yes, actual, brick and mortar record stores that are clinging on for dear life by their fingernails in the Biden economy. We just have to depend on the majority of normal people to get off their behinds and actually shop for music — instead of being hand-fed it like a helpless baby bird by the likes of Amazon and Apple.