Week Ending 8/6/2015
The music business has been blessed with the resurgence of the vinyl business. It has brought a new generation of music fans back into physical stores. It has brought excitement back into the physical music business after years of watching the slow decline of the CD business. It has brought focus on the role independent music retailers play in the cultural fabric of communities across the globe. We all know this, it’s not news.
What concerns me is the fact that the people in control of the vinyl business seems to be making the same mistakes they made with the CD business. It begins with selling exclusives of core product to individual accounts either forever or for initial periods of time, which might as well be forever. I’m sure this will be followed with different price structures for large accounts and don’t give me that, "you all pay the same” line. We all know there are ways around pricing like mysterious marketing money. Next we see price increases happening everywhere. I fully understand the costs structure of vinyl production, but the truth is that the cost of production has gone up very little in the last few years--it’s the licensing costs that have risen from the content owners. None of the reasons for the cost increases are reassuring to a store owner watching his customer refusing to pay $30, $35, $40 for a single disc LP (and I don’t care how thick it is). And believe me, we are seeing the rejection of these prices in our stores every day.
Remember when pricing put hundreds and thousands of music stores out of business largely because of deals offered the boxes and not the independent sector? That was followed by the boxes getting out of the business when times got tough. Remember when millions of people rejected $18.98 pricing for CD’s and began walking around with white things hanging out of their ears, diminishing the experience of listening to music and relegating it to background noise?
Are will really going to allow ourselves to live through that again? Can we please make a thoughtful effort to do things differently this time around.
Coalition of Independent Music Stores
The Record Exchange
1105 W. Idaho Street
Boise, ID 83702
208.343.0107 x3 office
Week Ending 8/6/2015