Wax aficionados and music lovers are mourning today as Other Music, a beloved East Village record store and independent music mecca, announced they would be shutting their doors in June. In an industry that seems further consumed by digital every day, the resurgent popularity of vinyl has given hope to brick-and-mortar record stores everywhere. However, that uptick has not been enough to keep many businesses afloat.
Is Other Music the canary in the coal mine that proves record stores are over? Or can record stores survive the digital revolution?
Other Music shut down due to declining sales, and massive tax and rent increases. The store's sales peaked at 3.1 million in 2000. Even with vinyl sales on the upswing, Other Music only made half that much this past year.
It's a theme common throughout the music industry. In 2015, streaming nearly doubled from the previous year, while CDs sales were down 82 percent from their peak in 2001. Physical music releases are almost an afterthought for many artists, and instead of going to record store clerks for music guidance, consumers are just going online.