- Starting the production of a vinyl when you are a young artist is an obstacle course.
- On the occasion of Record Shop Day which takes place on June 12 and July 17 with independent record stores and of which “20 Minutes” is a partner, we met Alexis Castiel, co-founder of Diggers Factory.
- Founded five years ago, this French company allows all musicians to release a vinyl without having to spend a single euro.
Rotate the turntables with the Record Shop Day June 12. The event of which 20 minutes is a partner allows independent French record stores to play their best sounds around different events. For fans, the opportunity to dig through vinyl bins and find nuggets.
Among them, they may find those of Diggers Factory, a company that allows young talents to launch their own vinyl without investing a single euro. Alexis Castiel, co-founder of Diggers Factory wants to reinvent the world of records and explains how.
What needs does Diggers Factory meet?
In music, the diggers are the seekers of musical nuggets, who will spend hours in the vinyl bins looking for the right vinyl, the right sample. We created Diggers Factory five years ago on the premise that many artists do not create vinyl because it is expensive to produce, with a ratio of one to ten compared to the CD.
A parallel observation: a lot of artists produce large quantities of vinyl to reduce their unit price… even if it means destroying their unsold items. Our idea was therefore to find a solution for both.
What is your operating principle?
It is that of a platform online, with a system of pre-orders, from 100 copies. The money from pre-orders will finance production and pressing based on demand. And we also eliminate the problem of overstock. To produce in order to produce does not make sense.
Concretely, what is the financial investment for the artist?
The artist does not need to pay anything. He determines the price of his disc. If he wants to sell his vinyl for 50 euros, he has the right to do so. But we do not press below 100 copies. So, if the pre-orders are there, we start production. If they are not there, we do not go further. We want to change an obsolete system.
Who are the artists who use your services?
We have a fairly large community: 40% young artists, 40% big artists and 20% emerging artists. We meet a lot of young artists who have a great talent. The margin that we are going to take on the record (25% on the HT) differentiates us from the labels which are going to take much more than that. And the labels also have their job to find a booker to make dates, to find artists, nuggets.
How much can an artist hope to earn from their vinyl records?
A vinyl brings the artist between 5 and 15 euros. The gain is quite fast compared to that of digital (which brings in 0.0003 centime per listening!). 90% of artists earn less than 1,000 dollars per year on the platforms of streaming. With us, they earn between 1,000 to 1,500 euros per album at least. For our part, the margin that we take on the record (25% on the price excluding taxes) differentiates us from the labels which will take much more than that.
Labels have a management side. Their job is also to find a booker to make dates, find artists, nuggets. Ultimately, however, we want to create an in-house label. We see a lot of young artists who have a great talent …
What can we find in the Diggers Factory catalog?
Diggers Factory has accompanied over 2000 artists, from beginners to Bob Sinclar who has also passed through us. We also work with the majors, like Sony Music, or even with the INA by publishing unpublished concerts from the 60s on vinyl. It was in their archives, nobody listened to them.
We do not forbid ourselves anything: 45 rpm, 33 rpm, double, even quadruple vinyl. At the moment, we are working a lot on the soundtracks of films, like Harry potter, Star wars, The lord of the rings with an American label and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Who are the vinyl buyers today?
We see it on people who order vinyls on our website : the biggest buying age group is made up of 25-34 year olds (30%) and 18-24 year olds (21%). We have observed + 90% of purchases on this tranche for 2 years. Young people will rather buy new products.
It is a sign of identity: buying a vinyl is a way of expressing love for the artist. Many studies show that it is thanks to streaming that vinyl comes back. We can thus discover an album online, then buy the vinyl if we please. We no longer buy blind. Today, we know that we are going to like the album that we are going to buy and that changes the whole mechanism of consumption.