Introducing Oh OneOne Vinyl: Joburg-based lifestyle brand pushing and promoting vinyl culture
Let’s face it, music consumption has changed drastically. Globally, listener habits have shifted to accommodate tech-driven solutions where music discovery is handled by algorithms and not by dated traditional platforms, like radio or TV. Streaming platforms are king, physical sales of music are seeing a sharp decline and albums are getting shorter and shorter in response to changing listener habits. Music largely exists in the digital form and people can access vast amounts of music on their smartphones while only having to pay a monthly fee of about 60 South African rands.
As music goes digital, something odd and peculiar is also happening – vinyl record sales are also increasing month on month. A fascinating phenomenon, which comes as shock as the music industry as it now largely has its eyes set on introducing disruptive tech to create better experiences for people. This vinyl boom is largely driven by millennials who faintly remember a time where one music consumption was only possible through analogue technology. Millennials yearn for difference, something they can hold and physically interact with and showcase to other people as a status symbol. Sure, digital tech as an idea and innovation is revolutionary, but the one thing it lacks is the tangible aspect of music. Music is heard, but the music experience is not limited to one sense, as there’s a visual, lifestyle and physical aspect to it.
Music in the physical form, especially in the vinyl, carries a lifestyle and culture aspect to it. Sub-cultures and underground communities have formed which have vinyl at the core. In South Africa, vinyl culture is deeply entrenched in the music culture. Though the numbers of people who collect vinyl may be small, but they are still enough to allow entrepreneurs to spot opportunities to cater to this demographic. Bigger music retailers like Musica, have also seen this and have started pushing vinyl records but they lack one thing – understanding how the vinyl culture moves and functions. Something which the smaller retailers understand, as in many cases the culture functions off a ‘by us, for us’ model, which is very people-focused.
New Joburg-based retailer, Oh OneOne Vinyl, plans to genuinely bring innovation and great records for vinyl collectors in South Africa. Functioning as a boutique, semi-online retailer that also doubles as a lifestyle brand, the record store aims to cater to the underground and other alternative sub-cultures that are not catered for by mainstream platforms and businesses. The music startup has already built a solid customer base through networking and is growing steadily.