Research shows that when music is played, it can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, decrease stress, and so much more! Shift is lucky enough that we have two great members who are able to speak to the power of music and get to implement this passion of music into their careers. This month, we had the privilege of speaking with both Scott Hagen and Don Inmon of Victrola. We encourage you to continue reading to learn more!
Tell us, what is Victrola?
Don: Victrola is the most well-known name and the original name of record players. Victrola, to us, means music, and we believe it does to our consumers, too. Whether you want the vintage look of a classic record player with Bluetooth compatibility or a robust speaker system for your outdoor patio, we have you covered. Victrola’s goal is to create lifelong memories in every home through music record players.
Scott: You will find that the majority of what Victrola does today is build record players, in particular players that are easy to use (something you don’t have to plug it in), and that are also extremely elegant. Much of what we do is create a modern-day sound bar that not only sounds lovely, but makes your room look sleek and stylish. We offer creative music and audio experiences that will also elevate what the room looks like, the experience of the room and how to make the room come alive – something that is cool and relevant in our customers’ homes. Each home needs a lifelong, trustable, and durable product that any normal person can afford to have. We believe everyone should have the right to obtain a really special record player so they can have that experience of opening the record, reading it and listening to it from start to finish while fully experiencing the artist. Slowing down and listening to music is something we want to recreate.
What is the story behind this turntable company that is the oldest in the business?
Don: We like to say that this product is the one that first brought families together as an entertainment center in the home when it came about as a product over 100 years ago in 1906. You know, if you go back and look at those old advertisements, it shows people sitting down together talking and enjoying music around a Victrola player. Pretty cool to see.
Scott: Victrola was the first mass market consumer entertainment device in the US. It is ironic that over 100 years ago they stopped making the wind-ups and introduced them as electric turn tables. It was thought about as a music listening device – something that was all about entertainment. That culture, goal, and aura around the brand is what we are reinvigorating and rebuilding.
How does Victrola “stay on beat and ahead of the curve” (as you say!)?
Don: Records are looked upon as old, but at the same time they are as new as how we build them and what we are looking ahead to implement into. For example, one small feature that we took for granted could be a wow moment for customers. Playing record over Bluetooth really gives that wow factor. You will see us continue with speaker technology on record players.
Scott: How we do it is really having a scope on our customers about what they are telling us. We are listening to what matters and what is important. We have been watching and listening to see what people do with suitcase players and we commonly find that people are often actively listening to a turntable and listening to a record. Really, there is no product out there unless people are plugging in. So, we took that feedback and began building new products to assist. We feel like the category has almost been marginalized, and what I mean by that is there is a group of people who think you must spend so much money for a quality turntable or get something rather cheap – there is no in-between. But after in depth innovation development, we are bringing that to this brand. We are coming out with new products this summer that no one has ever seen before.
As for the future, what do you envision for vinyl and record players?
Don: I look at the turntable as an instrument, there is no other form like it. It is all about that ritual. Two of my kids now collect records whereas I used to drag them to record stores and they would hate it – now they beg me to go. Not only do they talk about the songs, but they talk about the art, the lyrics, the experience that we are striving for. That is something special to see in younger generations.
Scott: Vinyl is back. Not only are they building more, but better-quality sounds. Over 2 years ago vinyl had $4 million in sales and in 2020 there was $600 million in sales. Some are saying that we can potentially hit $800 million in the coming years! People are smarter about it – building better versions of what we have seen before. It is nostalgic for most, that crackly noise, but we are ridding of that and ensuring better quality. We are going to adopt the technology but keep the experience.
When you and the team are away from the office, what do you enjoy doing?
Don and Scott: Listening to music!
What about your career inspires you?
Don: Like musicians, we are creators. We get to create environments and feelings that people can experience. Knowing that Victrola creates a product that we believe in is something I wake up and leap out of bed for. How am I going to make people’s lives better? For me, it is being able to create and then share it with other people so that they can also share, enjoy, and love.
Scott: What inspires me is the outcome. You may not recall the exact song you were listening to, but there are these moments in time where you will remember who you are with, the process of the record, experiencing it, thinking about it. What I love most about my job is when you see that happen in music. Oh, and when young kids see a record for the first time – that is one of the most inspiring.
Tell us about your experience of coming to Shift Workspaces Bannock.
Don and Scott: From the start we perceived Shift as a way to relax and enjoy the surrounding aesthetics, the same as what we aspire to do with Victrola. From the record players and the wallpaper, it is fun for us to experience. We always talk about how we feel the Shift Bannock building was built for Victrola. And we will definitely tell that to others.