More Music Retailers Learn To Change With The Times

from the not-so-hard,-is-it? dept

While the recording industry continues to insist that its world is dying, the music industry continues to thrive — even if it’s not in the same way it did a decade ago. One of the more interesting things about this trend is watching how music retailers have tried to adapt to the change. Not surprisingly, it involves a lot of experimenting, and quite a bit of failure — but record store owners seem to have realized that not adapting means certain death. One of the big trends we’ve seen is for record stores (usually independent ones) to recognize that it’s important to become destination sites, rather than just music stores. They’re also recognizing that record store employees can provide value by being trusted guides. To that end, a well-known UK music retailer is opening a new larger shop, even as many are insisting that music retailing is over. However, this isn’t an ordinary record shop. Instead, it’s playing up the relationship between the knowledgeable employees and shoppers, providing a lot of counterspace for visitors to talk with staff about what kind of music they might like. It’s also becoming more of a destination site, with free WiFi, workshops and a stage for live performances. This certainly isn’t a new idea as we’ve seen very similar reactions from stores for many years, but it does show how more and more of these stores are learning to adapt and change with the times, while the recording industry stubbornly goes down with its obsolete ship.

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Comments on “More Music Retailers Learn To Change With The Times”

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Sanguine Dream says:

Sounds like my kind of shop...

Most large music stores these days are so small and compact you feel like they want you to pay and get out to make room for the next sucker.

I can just imagine walking into a shop and hearing a live band play. The associate that meets you at the door tells you about the band that is playing and points you to their album (if they have one) and other music like it or if you say you aren’t into that they actually ask what you are into and try to help you find it. I don’t mind associates offering the deal of the moment but I get sick of it when they do nothing but try to get you to buy something instead of asking what you like (kinda like car dealers do).

The only downside to this idea is that it would only be profitable in the largest of cities with lots of different people from several different walks of life. I could see why even if this were successful for that UK retailer the idea would be slow to catch on throughout the rest of the world, especially the US.

And congrats on getting halfway through that post before using “content” or “value”, not even using “content”, and only using “value” once. For a moment there I thought you guys just were required to use those two words multiple times in all articles about the music and/or recording industries

R. James says:

Change in music stores

The change in peoples life styles requires change in how we deal with them. I am glad to see that some music stores are adapting. There is a need to make sales and many other things more personable today to win the customer. I hope to see this trend grow and also how bands themselves are marketing their music. The large labels are only interested in total (temporary) bottom line. We have lost the idea of gaining someone as a customer for life by competing on cost. Service is where the future lies and hopefully it will be provided by independent stores.

Marc Cohen (user link) says:

Music industry thriving? Are you serious?

The recorded music industry is dying and whither recorded music also goes the industry as a whole. Recorded music sales make up like 80% of total music industry revenues. Touring etc. is doing OK but its growth is physically capped.

Check out the Ad-Supported Music Central blog:

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Music industry thriving? Are you serious?

The recording industry itself is only dying because they refuse to take advantage of the technology of today. Before recorded music people had to be at the concert hall to hear the musicians of their day. Then technology evolved to the point where people were able to hear the music of their favorite artists in the comfort of the own home. Now the technology has evolved to the point where the songs can be stored by the tens of thousands in device that it smaller than a scientific calculator.

Just because something starts off slow and does not generate the same revenue as its predecessor from the get go does not mean that it will fail.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Music industry thriving? Are you serious?

I don’t think they mind mp3 players. But they do mind when that mp3 player is filled with songs not purchased. They would have probably cared if someone had a truckload full of vinyls that they didn’t pay for back in the day too.

What idiots!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Music industry thriving? Are you

What if they had their own vinyl-maker, and just copied other people’s? No longer a lost sale?

Or, maybe not all downloaded songs are lost sales. Therefore, some downloaded songs are. While the industry may exaggerate this claim, it is true to some extent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Music industry thriving? Are

Precisely. To some extent there really are lost sales however lying about the numbers does not help the RIAA’s case anymore than people who download just to “stick it to the man.”

I have no problem with the fact that the RIAA/MPAA is fighting piracy. My problem is the fact that they are using underhanded tactics that include bullying, extortion, and outright lying as their weapons of choice.

Buzz says:


I don’t know about other places, but where I live, live musical performances are hot items. Large crowds gather on weekends to hear jazz musicians play. The place is a restaurant. It charges $3 entry but gives a coupon for $3 off any food order (prevents people from just coming to listen and then leaving). It has tall stools next to tall tables, huge bean bags, etc.

Obvious1 says:

Record Stores Of The Future

From a friend I passed the link onto, who used to work in the record retail business:

“…of course I snickered, because their innovative Record
Store of the Future sounds exactly like almost every store I ever worked at! What techdirt was very, very careful not to mention is that these futuristic stores are now selling used product, simply to stay alive. In Chicago, the niche stores that sold used ‘content delivery units’ survived, everyone else went under, because the profit margin on regular major label discs was way too low… for the retailer and his employees, that is. Jimmy Page made money, though. At least, that’s what I heard.”

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