Record stores are so 20th century


Being a data junkie, I decided to do a little more research on what appears to be a national trend in record store closings. No big surprise, but the news is not good.

Here’s a chart I made from some data I dug up in Plunkett’s Entertainment and Media Industry Almanac (Jan 17, 2002).

The chart looks at the changes in where people purchased music over the last decade of the 20th century. Notice that the trend line for record stores is dramatically down. I find it particularly interesting that the trend began well before the internet crept in in the late 1990’s. Looking at the growth of the “other stores” category, it makes me think that there are actually two intersecting trends going on. One is the general trend toward buying everything at big megastores and the other is the gradual decline of record sales generally. While much more data is required to draw any conclusions about causality, the basic trend looks pretty undeniable to me.

Luckily, none of this will affect the hardcore diggers who seem to find piles where none should exist.

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