The Record Store Is Dead (Or Is It?)

Tower Records finally succumbed to the losses that music downloading wrought. A liquidator came in and bought the entire chain for under $170 million. A sell off is underway and 3,000 employees are headed to unemployment. What a long demise! Just as traditional media is hanging on to its traditional business models, record stores are reminding us what happens when we ignore the future. The record store began to die when Gen Yers figured out how to share music, steal music or buy music online. And what did record stores do? Remain the same. Few changes. And Tower won't be the only record store to bite the dust. When music was "product" or as label's call it "units" then record stores were the ideal place to stock and sell vinyl and later CDs. But when music became the driving force behind Internet entertainment then "product" became irrelevant. There may always be people who want to own the tangible versions of albums, but there won't always be record stores to sell them. But there will be social networks -- the old fashion kind -- where you buy coffee and linger. That's called Starbucks and it may very well become the record store of the future along with a latte and muffin.