Apple has been called a mover and a shaker, an industry definer, and a top notch innovator, but a harbinger of doom to brick and mortar record stores? Thatis the opinion of Pimm Fox, a journalist whose recent editorial appears in ComputerWorld. Mr. Fox contends that the paradigm of online music distribution championed by Apple is so efficient that music buyers will ignore CDs, and thus the record store that sell them. From the article, The Day the Music Stores Died:
Call it the neutron-bomb effect: In less than a decade, the aisles of music retailers will be empty. I predict that online music sites such as Appleis iTunes, Napster and Sonyis Connect will have drained Virgin Megastores, HMVs and Tower Records of their customers.
The success of Appleis iPod, which plays Internet-downloaded music, demonstrates how the world of traditional retailing is colliding with digital technology. With recommendation engines, shared playlists and downloadable samples all at a consumeris fingertips, why buy at a store?
Even big music companies such as Warner, BMG and EMI are getting into the act, teaming with RealNetworks to start a service dubbed MusicNet. But this effort comes with restrictions on what you can do with the music. You might want to burn a CD so you can listen in the car, but the serviceis protected Real Audio and Windows Media files chain you to your desktop.
Check out the full editorial at ComputerWorld.