Iconic NYC record store is shutting its doors—can record stores survive the digital era? | The Tylt
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.
What do you think: #RIPRecordStores vs. #LongLiveRecordStores?
Iconic NYC record store is shutting its doors—can record stores survive the digital era?
Some experts believe this is just the direction the industry is headed.
Vulture also seemed to think Other Music's fate was inevitable.
The Washington Post's pop music critic noted that brick-and-mortar music stores offer buyers an experience they'll never find on Amazon.
Other Music habit: Buying the record with the most passionate employee recommendation card. Changed my listening life. Can't do it online.— Chris _ _ Richards (@Chris__Richards) May 9, 2016