Has digital killed the record store?

With many music fans buying items online it may be the case.

But where does this leave the owners of local second-hand shops and the collecting communities? Recent figures show sales of the physical product are down. CD sales are down 21 percent while digital sales are up 30 percent, according to ARIA’s 2010 Wholesale Sales figures.

Collectables are proving one way to survive in a changing market. Rockaway Records owner Scott Johnson says he saw the shift. “We were one of the first with a website, we compliment our range of original collectables with new collectables,” he says. “But it’s gaming that’s affected these sorts of stores more than anything else. The young kids buy games rather than three or four CD’s. We then added Total Entertainment to our name. We stock music, movies, memorabilia, it’s a true music store.”

Egg Records owner Ric Trevaskes, a more traditional second-hand shop, says he enjoys talking to people so has no intentions of going online. “A lot of my customers come everyday, just to see what has come in. People who shop online probably talk online, but there are still a lot of people who don’t. There’s definitely a community here.” September’s record fair in West End proves how large this community is.

With so few shops like Egg in Brisbane many fans are forced online. Fady Ibrahim, a collector from Coorparoo, shops online more than he’d like. “It’s brilliant in what it’s done in terms of being able to pick up something you’re trying to find. I would much rather walk into a record store, but the reality is sometimes you have to do it online.”

It appears the best way to survive is to not wholly change with the times, but to be aware that the times they are a-changing.

This article first appeared online October 2011 at http://ontherecordbrisbane.wordpress.com/

For more online footage:

Scott Johnson on the collecting community at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5v5OVNY2TQ&feature=player_embedded

Fady Ibrahim gives his thoughts on MP3 and online retailers at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4z239fD8jc&feature=player_embedded

Ric Trevaskes of Egg Records talks about if there is a future to vinyl at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBzA-7d8BMg&feature=player_embedded


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: