Music Sales On The Move

Despite what you may have heard from mainstream media, music sales aren’t dying, they are simply changing. In fact, those who adapt to the changes are actually doing quite well – as demonstrated by CD Baby, and even physical stores such as Rough Trade…

More Than A Music Store

A couple of years ago, I wrote about how Rough Trade had revamped their flagship store on Brick Lane.

At that stage, brick-and-mortar record stores were being hammered both by digital music and supermarkets undercutting their price points. So, the strategy was to make the store not just about rushing in and buying a CD, but to create more of an experience around the music, with live performances in the shop as well as providing a comfortable environment within which music fans could actually relax and socialise.

This approach can be seen in other establishments also, such as Pure Groove, which is not so much a shop as a music-focused coffee bar/venue.

Trade Is Sleeping Rough

The new approach to music retail is paying off for Rough Trade – turnover is up 30% this year on 2008.

However, they are also taking their store on the road – specifically, to music festivals such as Glastonbury, The Big Chill and Green Man.

The mobile store takes music to the fans – and serves as a credible promotion for the main stores as well. The Rough Trade tent sells CDs by acts playing at the festivals, as well as related merchandise such as t-shirts and books.

This sort of adaptability is what is required to stay afloat in the music business – no matter what side of the fence you are on – and it illustrates how there are always ways of finding a profitable angle. Just remember – nobody said it was going to be easy…!


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