Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tower In Trouble

The LA Times (via Coolfer,) reports that Tower Records seems to be in trouble again and could be going down for the count.

Tower was the one chain that could be counted on to bring in more than just the "hit" music, and really catered to the music-loving crowd. When searching for deeper major label catalog as a buyer you could pretty much go to the tower stores and find what you were looking for. As a label, they'd always take the chance on my releases and during late 80's and 90's, really was the only chain that would take my stuff in quantity (and sell through it) without demanding an advertising quid-pro-quo.

If they truly go down (as they almost did once before,) it strengthens the remaing big players like Transworld, Best Buy and Circuit City. (I don't count Target and Wal-Mart because they don't carry much indie punk/hardcore stuff.) I can't imagine that indie label life will get any easier with them gone.

This is yet another reason why I believe that the future of emerging artists is clearly headed in the digital direction.


Anonymous said...

I am truly saddened by the news. I feel as if someone I know has died. And yet Im so conflicted. I grew up going to towers all over NY and loving all the experiences that came from it, and yet I also love the digital media revolution and everything that comes from that. I understand that this is a natural progression in economics (how many typesetters are there?) yet being around for the transition is oddly a sad experience. I hate to be concrete but little in the online shopping world compares to browsing through the great Tower magazine racks and spending hours flipping through the cd's. Leaving the store with a yellow and red plastic bag filled with cd's and magazines, fumbling with the wrapping so I can listen to it in the car and then hearing that bands sound or a crystal clear version of the track you wanted while speeding down the highway. I guess we're all stuck with "clean" versions from itunes or impulse buys (plus a 6 day shipping wait) from amazon. Now music will just be loss leaders at best buy, awful stores with awful selections. Retail is going fast and its a much sadder transitiono then I ever thought it would be.

William Li said...

Dude! All the good CDs go on sale at Starbucks, donchaknow?