The Future of Music Coalition–a “a not-for-profit collaboration between members of the music, technology, public policy and intellectual property law communities”–recently got together in D.C. to discuss what the record store of 12-years-and-three-months from now would look like. And judging by the quotes from this Billboard report, the Coalition hopes against hope that it will resemble a very scaled-down version of the mom-and-pop indie store of 2007:
Sean O’Donnell, the president of the non-profit Music Allies, told the crowd: “I think the music store of 2020 will really be a curator, a trusted brand and a forward-thinker.”
“Maybe niche music specialty stores will be around, selling collectibles, but the [traditional] music store won’t exist,” said Mike Dreese, CEO of the Boston-based chain Newbury Comics.
Members of the panel also asserted that record stores need to develop online spaces, with O’Donnell saying, “If you’re not on the web, you need to start being honest with yourself as a retailer about the future of the physical medium.”
Meanwhile, I worry the record store of 2020 will more closely resemble the ultra-seedy “comic book store” that was tucked between the head shop and the place that hawked military memorabilia in my neighborhood dirt mall, the one where we used to go to browse the dusty boxes of “vintage” pornography when the Shaggy-looking pedo owner was nodding off behind the counter. But I hold out hope!