Music Stores: Resurgence Kenny Love,
so many major music retail chains closing up shop, primarily as
a result of the ever increasing ease of online purchasing, I believe
we will also soon witness a case of history repeating itself.
my opinion, history will repeat itself at the retail level in the
form of new independent "Mom & Pop" music stores, albeit with one
important difference...their operations will run much smarter. Smarter
in terms of the type of product stock to carry and based on its
quality, popularity and demand. But, isn't this how stores have
always run, prior to the age of digital enlightenment? Well, yes,
because this is how it all began, well intentioned, no less. However,
as nature often subscribes, it quickly got out of hand in accordance
with its growth, bigger money being infused into it, along with
politics that go along with big money that serves to keep "lesser
players" out of its game.
instance, at one point records would "ship gold" or "ship platinum"
to retailers solely based on an arbitrary number that labels would
cite to retailers, so that they could be guaranteed to sell due
to how well the labels' big publicity machines had done their jobs
in advance of release dates through their pre-release campaigns.
These arbitrary figures would, unfairly, qualify artists for rewards
that they would later prove to not have earned.
groundless and absurd figures were often based on the popularity
of the artist. Simultaneously and unfortunately, music was also
beginning to experience a significant loss of artistic quality and
creativity. This was in part due to talent now being "made" in the
studio through the wizardry of technology, but which lacked the
ability to reproduce itself through live performances or because
non thinking labels decided it best to streamline their tour expenses
by sacrificing crucial live aspects, i.e., background singers and
major instrument parts.
fans were not stupid. They felt a double impact through a lack of
the complete music that they had become accustomed to hearing on
their high-priced recordings, as well as the price-gouging tickets
they were forced to pay in order to see their unfulfilling and unsatisfying
musical heroes. Never was this more evident than in "returns" from
stores to distributors and subsequently, to labels.
major reason for returns was that labels had begun a sort of "economizing"
in the sense of cheating the consumer. An example would be the trend
of placing one or two great songs on a recording, while the remainder
of the repertoire would be musically horrible.
these differences were noted. Word spread that although certain
acts sounded great in recordings or their one or two lead singles
sounded wonderful, for the most part they were a bust and were not
worth the big dollars they were demanding from live performances,
nor were they worth the purchase of an entire album.
began the "radio taping," whereby people would simply record their
favorite tunes from their radio stations, saving themselves the
trouble of dealing with wasting their money on inferior product.
This was the precursor to illegal digital downloads that we have
recently seen, and the reason the RIAA did not intervene at this
time was because it simply had no way of detecting, tracking and
in all, stores felt the brunt of all this politicking and greed
through a dramatic slowdown of record sales. And while the industry
did enjoy a brief stint of success afterward, "the people" were
beginning to speak a message that they were not stupid, and were
seriously becoming both disenfranchised and disenchanted with the
way things were going and headed. For the most part, this would
be an ongoing downward spiraling trend that continues to this day.
3The people" have had the last laugh as major labels revert into
their shells from losing their artists to technology, while shuddering
for their mere survival in the only historical way that they can
... by consolidating.
short, for success in this century, independent music stores, as
all other aspects of the music industry, will need to ensure that
their "checks and balances" systems are far more reliable and solid
than in the past.
major way to do so is a very simple one. Regardless of your function
in this industry, think "quality" as opposed to "quantity." Quality
product will always last, while quantity will, inevitably, always
return to serve as a nightmare.
by the MusicDish
Network. Copyright © Tag
It 2004 - Republished with Permission
to Hybrid Studios MAIN NEWS page