Dallas Start-Up Eyes Vinyl Rebirth


Vinyl Records | Image by Delpixel/Shutterstock

Dust off that record player in the basement — vinyl records are making a comeback!

According to recent reports by the IMARC Group, a market research company, the global sales of vinyl records could soar to $2.6 billion by 2027.

In light of this trend, a group of four friends from North Texas has founded Tuned In Grading, a third-party service that verifies and impartially grades vinyl records.

The service is designed to help collectors protect their valuable collections from degradation and claims of inauthenticity, giving them peace of mind that their investment is secure.

Tuned In Grading was established in 2022 by four entrepreneurs: real estate investor Rogers Healy, radio personality Jeff “Skin” Wade of The Ben and Skin Show, and partners at Josey Records/Eastwood Music Group Luke Sardello and Waric Cameron.

Boasting a combined experience of 100 years in the music industry, the founders all recognize the cultural and historical significance of vinyl records and their place in the world of music.

The Tuned In Grading process is simple.

Customers send their vinyl records to the company, which then inspects, grades, and sonically encapsulates each record using a proprietary, heat-free method. The records are returned to the customer in tamper-resistant cases, along with a holographic label and QR code for identification, as Dallas Innovates reported.

The service is similar to those available for other collectibles, such as comic books and trading cards.

The team’s love for music memorabilia is not only what brought them together in the first place but also underpins their business venture.

Healy, who owns over 5,000 pieces of music memorabilia, sees Tuned In Grading as a way to turn music collections into priceless assets and works of art, per Dallas Innovates.

Graded, encapsulated vinyl records can also be viewed as investment pieces, similar to traditional investments like stocks and real estate.

“Our deliverables, systems, and processes are all patent-pending,” Healy explained to Dallas Innovates.

The team spent years developing a “Grading Bible” to accurately assess pieces based on the record itself, the record jacket, the inner sleeve, and the labels.

Tuned In Grading, with only eight employees and less than $500,000 in funding, has been entirely self-supported to date.

Nonetheless, Healy hinted to Dallas Innovates at expansion beyond vinyl records. Grading and encapsulating options for CDs, double LPs, cassettes, and eight-tracks are reportedly in the works.

Despite the potential for future diversification, the market for grading music products, particularly vinyl records, is massive, presenting Tuned In Grading with enormous growth opportunities.

Meanwhile, the founders will continue to forge ahead with their primary goal of triggering the next vinyl renaissance.

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