CIMS Weekly Chart: Week Ending 11/11/16

Week Ending 11/11/2016

Honestly, the independent music store is willing to go head-to-head with any competitor as long as the playing field is even and fair but there are a couple of things we can’t compete with. One is direct-to consumer efforts from artists, labels and managers. A devoted fan wants to get as close to an artist as possible. If that artist’s camp provides a way to deal direct with the fan, that’s cool and part of the modern landscape. But when an artist’s core product is offered direct to the consumer, it leaves the stores, who are also the artist's biggest fans and supporters, out of the picture. This applies to exclusives on the physical and digital side. Look, I get it, the check is very attractive for an exclusive — it’s money in the bank for a manager who has fought hard for their client, but is it good for an artist to lose the majority of their physical sales in the process? Yes, that is what happens at retail — if a version of a big artist new release is held captive by a single account or even format, it severely weakens the physical sales of that piece. Estimates run between 40% to 60% less sales at physical retailers. If, for example, an artist is 50% physical sales, are you willing to give up half of that for the income streaming provides? Something to ponder.

The second thing we can’t compete with is counterfeit goods. This story has been building for weeks now, and finally action is supposedly being taken on the artists' behalf. An RIAA study showed that out of 194 CDs bought on the Amazon site, 44 were counterfeit goods. Also, many of those goods were sold by Amazon itself, not third party sellers. Wow! I would guess that those goods were bought at a major discount and then sold to the public at potentially below wholesale prices. No, we can’t compete with illegal goods, and Amazon should be ashamed for allowing this to happen. As far as their actions to stem it, it's about time!

Just as a final note, if you haven’t been watching “Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music,” you are really missing an amazing musical treat. The eight-part series, which aired on PBS on Monday with an episode devoted to producers and Tuesday with the story of the rise of studio multi-tracking and artists recordings, has me glued to the set. Don’t miss the rest of the episodes and stream the first two, incredibly well done.


Michael Bunnell
Executive Director
Coalition of Independent Music Stores
ThinkIndie Distribution
The Record Exchange
1105 W. Idaho Street
Boise, ID 83702
208.761.3155 cell
208.343.0107 x3 office
208.322.8051 fax

CIMS Selections
Here's what the CIMS staffers are fancying this week:

Scott Register - ThinkIndie A&R 
Jim James- Eternally Even (ATO)