In a race to stay relevant to culture, many brands and Internet marketplaces have been forced to take a step back in terms of technology rather than the typical evolution of devices and new ways to consume products. This has been caused by the somewhat new prevalence of what has been termed “Hipster Culture.” This has become evident in the news coming from the Internet giant Amazon. In recent weeks, the website has announced a new focus on the vinyl record marketplace. Though they have already proven to be one of the leaders in this area, this new focus may show some even greater growth.
This launch will be in the form of a week of giveaways that are free to enter and offers a wide variety of prizes. More substantially, there are guitars signed by artists such as Agnus Young of ACDC and Owl City, as well as albums signed by a variety of artists. Going along with the theme of the opening celebrations, there will also be free vinyl records given away. It is set to be a large event to draw in publicity of this new aspect to the business.
Though the vast majority of people are happy to see the new acceptance of vinyl as a modern cultural market there has been a large amount of criticism of what this could mean for the culture as a whole, and when talking of culture this is rather the small niche of the mainstream that consists of the before mentioned “hipsters” and indie minded people. As records were replaced by cassettes and eventually cd’s there remained a group of people who still supported vinyl records as the superior format for music recordings, and along with the development in technology, they slowly made their way underground in the sociological order. This is where they have resided up until recently. It has been described as a cozy, familiar community made up of small indie record labels and locally owned record shops. So as Amazon released the news, this community of people came to question what this would mean for this little, yet quickly growing, niche culture. This isn’t the first time this conversation has occurred though. In the past number of years, there has been a grand reopening of the once popular chain record shops as well as other multimedia sellers opening up record departments. This has effectively edged the long standing indie shops out of the market, a market in which these shops had played a large part in defining. So as Amazon has joined the folds, their current power in the commercial market as a whole, has many of these shop owners worried. They have shared the sentiment that these purchases won’t mean a lot to the already massive company yet it could mean paying rent for these smaller shops.
So as Amazon is getting ready for their large opening, there is a question hanging in the air for consumers, being should they support the streamlined process of Amazon or the local businesses, which won’t be able to take the loss of business. Whichever way the public chooses, it is without question that this move will greatly affect the music market and the way in which consumers interact with the market. The giveaway in question will be occurring on December 15th on which a record will be given away each hour.