Oh. That's Right. Why The Music Business Is Struggling
That's what it was. And that's why I couldn't remember it. We weren't in Kroger, we were in CD Warehouse. And the topic was "why the CD business is faltering" and what my latest theory is.
I've brought up various components of my theory before, but I think after my experience today at CDW (collision damage waiver! who was a travel agent for far too long? Never mind...) I have hit the nail on the head.
People are buying music online instead of full CDs because music stores are torturous to shop in for any length of time. Yeah, I know that I'm old, but I've finally reached the age where I've got enough disposable income to actually be able to afford music now and again. But I have no desire to hang out in the places where they generally cell the CDs because I'm afraid I will be deafened by the screaming, pounding selection that the heavily-pierced white gangsta kid with extra eyeliner thinks is So Kewl That It Must Be Played At 11.
It's never Warren Zevon. It's never Meat Loaf. It's usually something that sounds like fevered Norse gods demolishing Iceland with jackhammers.
I know that musical taste varies from person to person, and that some of you will mock me for even thinking that anyone under 25 would choose to listen to Meat Loaf without being tased. But anyone who has ever worked retail or food service knows that there is Music For Luring The Customers In and Music For Ushering The Customers Out Quickly. For living examples, hie thee to a mall and listen to what is being piped in to encourage you to hang out there and visit Wicks N Sticks, Suncoast and The Body Shop. Then hop over to a counter service restaurant and soak in the "eat your burrito and then vacate this table" tunes. They both have their place.
But it is only in a record (?) store where the music is designed to cause you physical pain. To knock fillings loose. And to make you look frantically over your shoulder to make sure there are no Rahowa lads coming to torch your car in the parking lot. While I'm glad that otherwise disenfranchised guys named Morris can act out their aggression AND earn $7.12 an hour, I'm still thinking that if you want to get people to buy your product you should sell it in venues that don't alienate them.
Until that day comes, I'm sticking to the Apple store.