It really was just a little over two years ago that we talked about Tower Records declaring bankruptcy, hoping that with music retailers having less of a say about distribution methods, the recording industry would become much more open to new means of distribution. Of course, Tower Records came back from bankruptcy with big new plans, and just a few months ago we were writing about their slightly odd idea of reinventing the music store with free music podcasts. Apparently, that plan wasn't shaping up as particularly successful as the company has declared bankruptcy again, and it's not clear if it'll come back this time around. The most likely scenario is that someone ends up buying the brand, ditching the brick and mortar stores and using the brand somewhere else (either online or as part of something else). This, of course, shouldn't come as a shock. Just last year we noted that all of the top music sellers simply used the music as a loss leader to sell some other type of product. While some people still like to pretend otherwise, it's time to recognize that this is the future of music. It will continue to act as a loss leader or promotional item for some other product. That's not a bad thing, as it's likely to increase the amount of music available -- but it does change how people should look at music as a product.
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