QRATES looks set to make pressing vinyl more efficient and cost-effective.
Part Bandcamp, part Kickstarter, part distributor, brand new Japanese platform QRATES has been set up with a view to making life easier for independent artists and labels. Users get started by logging in to the QRATES website, where they can put together a mock-up of a release – with options on customizing labels, sleeve colours and vinyl colour. The website then calculates a price for the record based on the aforementioned choices made, as well as the amount of records a user would like to press. Uniquely, compared to most vinyl press plants which generally ask for minimum orders between 300 and 500, QRATES gives users the option of pressing as little as 100 records. This the press release says is down to an, ‘exclusive partnership with world-renowned pressing plants’.
Funding for the release is then generated when the release is uploaded to the user’s personalised QRATES page, where fans can pre-order copies. Once enough pre-orders have been made the release will hit its target and costs will be covered, meaning user’s don’t have to go into debt to press their records. This also means that no neither the distributor nor the artist or label is left with deadstock. There’s the also option to bypass the pre-order system and self-fund releases, with these then being sold directly to fans via the website.
The platform also offers users the opportunity to push exclusive content such as ‘merchandise, t-shirts, concert tickets’, and, ‘ digital incentives’. Have a play round on QRATES’ vinyl design feature here.