Tower Records’ Demise: The Indie-Label Fallout

Oct 26th, 2006 // 3 Comments

towercrop.jpgThe Hollywood Reporter looked at the Tower Records demise from the point of view of independent labels, which have, in the past, relied heavily on the doomed chain. Some labels that the Reporter talked to say that Tower accounted for 5-6% of their gross business, and the overall tone of the story is on the worried side.

Which is completely understandable–Tower’s breadth will definitely not be matched by mall chains like FYE, so areas without independent music stores are probably even more resigned to a record-shopping experience that involves picking up the new Hinder record or buying from, say, Amazon or Insound. But a not-small part of us wonders if the view in this story isn’t a bit rose-colored; sure, Tower’s offerings in genres like classical are unparalleled by all but the most devoted specialty shops, but our few recent trips to its NYC-area locations have been frustrating, thanks to sorely lacking stock and $18.98 sticker prices. And those conditions have seemed even more pronounced during our visits to Tower’s suburban locations, making it hard not to think that other people searching for music in indie-store-starved areas haven’t just given up and gone online to buy–or “obtain”–their music anyway.

Tower Records demise leaves indie labels in lurch [Hollywood Reporter via Yahoo! News]

  1. qyntellspitbull

    As someone who runs an indie that was affected by this, I can say that it REALLY does suck. It’s not quite the end of days, but 2006 has been a shitty year for most all things indie…

  2. Paul D

    Am I the only one who doesn’t see the BFD here?

    The last time I was in a Tower Records (admittedly, it was the mid-90′s), all I could find were major artists’ CDs for 19 bucks a pop. There was nothing in there remotely off the beaten Top-40 path.

    Does anyone else not care that this lame-ass, big-box music store is going out of business?


  3. qyntellspitbull

    It’s more of an issue in cities where there is no cool indie record store and Tower is the only option. The fact that Best Buy is the leading seller of CDs baffles me, until I realize that I live in a town with about a half dozen great indie shops. Most kids in small towns, or those without access to Mom’s AstroVan, are at the mercy of whatever box store (Tower included) is closest.

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