Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. Vinyl records are going green
Vinyl records are set to go green to remedy the backlog of year-long pressing delays following the pandemic. The global demand for vinyl albums is at its highest since the 1990s — but most factories are deploying the same old-fashioned, backbreaking and time-consuming production process from the ’80s. Dutch company Green Vinyl Records is offering a more sustainable — but more expensive — solution to the logjam with new large-scale technology, which uses 90% less energy than typical vinyl production.
Eindhoven’s Green Vinyl Records owner, Harm Theunisse, says that the new technology can produce almost “40% more capacity than the traditional plants” and is both “faster and better for our planet”. The machine will no longer use the environmentally damaging PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) but polyethylene terephthalate (Pet) for easier recycling.
2. Sony PlayStation sued for “ripping off” fans
Sony PlayStation is being sued for £5bn in the UK amid accusations of “ripping off customers”. Consumers have allegedly been overcharged for digital gaming purchases with estimated damages per individual between £67 and £562. The lawsuit against the gaming company, led by consumer rights expert Alex Neill at the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, could see nine million gamers compensated for allegations of breaching competition law.
The company is being accused of abusing its power in the market by forcing unfair terms and conditions on game developers and publishers, resulting in price hikes for fans with a 30% commission on all game or in-game purchases made through the online PlayStation Store.
3. Screwfix finally switches to digital
After 30 years of production, DIY retailer Screwfix has announced its print catalogues will be the end of an era. Instead, the physical copies will be replaced by digital screens, showing its full 37,000 product range compared to just 16,000 lines in the catalogue. The transformation comes with a commitment to remain responsive and offer Screwfix customers market-leading prices and deals.
The company plan to focus on “delivering hyper convenience” amid the increasing number of customers shopping online and abandoning the catalogue over the years. Screwfix CEO, John Mewett, said: “In recent years we’ve seen customers increasingly prefer to shop with our app or online and switching to digital screens in-store will mean we can provide the same great experience.”
4. Untapped crypto revenue for retailers
New research released by payment platform Paysafe revealed that retailers may be losing out on untapped revenue by not accepting crypto payments. A whopping 80% of crypto holders desire to purchase goods with their virtual currency but are blocked at the point of sale by quantities of rejecting retailers. According to a recent UK HMRC report, 5 million brits now own crypto, making it a lucrative avenue — potentially worth millions — for retailers in an increasingly challenging economic environment.
However, many crypto owners are optimistic they will be able to spend their digital assets sooner rather than later, as they are “convinced that crypto is the future of payments and understand that it is here for the long term”, expresses Elbruz Yilmaz, Paysafe Senior Vice President of crypto.
5. EasyJet offers sustainable holidays
EasyJet holidays has launched an ‘eco-certified’ range of holidays to give consumers the choice to be sustainable travellers. According to the UK tour operator’s research, consumers seek to cut their impact on the environment, pushing EasyJet to provide higher levels of sustainable tourism at no extra cost.
Eco-certified hotels can be easily identified by a green leaf motif and a Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) certificate on the EasyJet site, signifying the accommodation meets the “highest social and environmental standards on the market”. Customer and Operations Director, Matt Callaghan, says the company is “passionate about offering holidays that don’t cost the earth” and is their “mission to always provide brilliant value for money.”