Record Mountain Website

Since starting my career at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, I've been obsessed with design in the music industry. A couple years back I was excited to meet a colleague with a personal record collection of 15,000 records. He has been considering selling these online to have a steady side business while working on music production himself. Exploring the area of selling records online, I did some research and designs for his site. 

Finding A Target Audience

According to Consumer Reports and the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl was showing a 52 percent increase year-over-year (versus streaming at 27 percent). Here are a few of the resources we found on millennials and record collecting:

  1. How millennials are warping the vinyl industry
  2. Why millennials are buying more vinyl records
  3. Return of the Turntable
  4. The curious case of vinyl records and millennials' vicarious nostalgia

We knew it was important to nail down a good target audience. While anyone of any age can collect records, so nailing down a target audience could go in so many directions. After doing some research, we decided that it would be smart to focus in on the millennial record collectors like myself who are in the early stages of starting a collection. We'd hone in on the group of men and women between the ages of 25-35 since they would be more likely to have a disposable income to spend verses a younger crowd.  

Creating A Valuable + Compelling Experience

Since there are so many places to buy records online (including big companies like eBay and Amazon), it was important to focus on great niche experience to people who came across the site. We decided the best way to do this was through a clean and punchy design, highlighting the history of the music he was selling, and giving an introduction to sampling. Sampling is the technique of digitally encoding music or sound and reusing it as part of a composition or recording. 

While sampling can sound intimidating to new record collectors, the easiest way to educate others is to play an original song then play a newer that sampled that original record. For instance once you hear Diana Ross singing "I'm Coming Out" and then listen to "Mo Money Mo Problems" it becomes way more obvious that The Notorious B.I.G. sampled directly from that recording and just barely warped her voice to appear deeper then the original recording. Having fun samples like this throughout the site seemed like a good way to get people even more interested in the subject of collecting records. 

Differentiating Record Mountain From Competitors

As I mentioned above, the target audience for Record Mountain will be millennials around the ages of 25-35. While some may already have extensive record collections, the goal would be to really help people who are in the early stages of collecting. So one focus would be to package records into something like "A Taste Of Funk" and give them a few Funkadelic records to get them started. This could be done be genre, band, decade, or many other options. 

Records

Another area of focus would be on the history of popular records. For example, under the jazz section there should be highlighted records like Miles Davis Bitches Brew where there could be information on things like the experimental nature of the album, it's impact over the years, his time at Columbia Records, etc. Another great record to spotlight would be the soundtrack from Shaft and how Issac Hayes won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (for the theme song of Shaft) in 1972. There could be information on the legacy of Issac Hayes' career as well as information on Stax Records in Memphis, TN. 

This project is very much on the beginning stages and will take some serious consideration on how to organize all the inventory online and how to overall present the e-commerce part of the site. I'll keep updating this page as we get farther along and closer to launching the site.