Amazon is starting a record of the month club

June 28, 2021, 4:49 PM UTC

The advent of digital music seemed to put an end to the mail order music club business model, but as vinyl has experienced a surge in popularity, Amazon is bringing back a record of the month club.

The retailer has quietly unveiled a new program—dubbed Vinyl of the Month Club—which will send a new record to members every 30 days or so. Don’t expect to get the latest from Olivia Rodrigo or Foo Fighters, though.

Amazon’s venture is focused on vinyl’s golden era—the 1960s and 1970s—and those are the records it plans to send out. Selected artists include everyone from Miles Davis to ABBA to Aretha Franklin to Fleetwood Mac.

Amazon says it’s targeting new vinyl collectors with the deal, which carries a $25 per month charge. That’s still a notable savings off some vinyl prices on Amazon.

Unlike the record (and CD) clubs of days gone by, you won’t be able to get 10 or 20 albums for a penny as an incentive to join.

Members can see which album is on the way on their Returns and Orders page—and skip the month’s shipment if they prefer. Should they forget to do that, unopened albums can be returned as well.

It’s a rather surprising return for record clubs. Retailers were never a big fan of Columbia House, BMG, or other similar clubs, as they impacted sales. Many artists also had “no record club” clauses in their contracts.

That was long ago, though, when the biggest threat was Napster and iTunes had yet to appear. Today, services like Spotify rule the music industry—and royalty payments are lower. Artists earn more from physical sales than streams, so are more likely to embrace this model—and maybe even lobby for their own albums to be added.

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