Vinyl, that stoic, reliable and much revered music format, is forever having its resurgence, largely due to its cherished tactility and audio quality over more transitory and detached forms of music media that abound today.
Numerous bands have tapped into its cultural credibility overt the years, with ever more innovative ways of releasing limited edition product - Jack White’s broad variety of Record Store Day initiatives (fastest produced record, songs distributed via balloons, etc) or The Flaming Lips blood filled vinyl, being cases in point.
Now, in a charitable partnership between the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, the band 'Portugal. The Man' have taken things a stage further – creating a limited run (a mere 400 copies) of new song ‘Sumatran Tiger’ with a special twist.
The catch? - The vinyl will degrade with each play.
So unless someone copies it digitally and shares it, it will cease to exist.
The 'Endangered Song' is designed to reflect the diminishing Sumatran Tiger population, of which only a slender 400 are left in the wild
It’s a smart move. By distributing the temporary vinyl to 400 influencers and actively encouraging sharing, the band manages to convert the stark reality of illegal side loading and downloading amongst music fans into a positive awareness tool - providing dual promotion for the charity and the band amongst new audiences.