I don’t even know how long its been since I stepped foot in a record store, but since my favorite high school hang out spot was Empire Records on Long Island (R.I.P.), the latest music industry “advancements” are breaking my heart. Struggling record labels are making it nearly impossible for independent stores to stay afloat. In an effort to slash label costs, they’ve slowly been cutting off distribution to small record stores. Then this week came the daunting news that major industry player EMI will no longer be supplying mom and pop stores with albums.Record stores have been left to fend for themselves in a sea full of one-stop shops like Wal-Mart and Target, and they don’t even have an inkling of a chance for survival. Of course, I knew this was going to happen all along, but now that it’s actually the day of destruction, it’s terribly disheartening. It’s just awful to watch the industry imploding on itself. The record labels can’t make bank so they’re turning on the stores they once relied on. Now retailers who already couldn’t fight declining CD sales aren’t able to fully stock their shelves. The only advantage these indie stores had over those warehouses was selection. But with EMI and other labels ending their relationships, these once-celebrated stores are doomed. And as much as I love technology, the iTunes music store is never gonna live up to Empire Records. [Metal Insider]
So I hearby resolve to stop downloading albums or picking them up when I’m at a mega-store. From now on, I’m only buying music from small record shops. I just hope they have what I’m looking for.