Some Indie Music Stores Are Still Smiling, Despite Downloads

To hear the record companies tell it, brick and mortar music stores are dying off faster than dinosaurs after a meteor strike; nobodyis making any money, least of all the artists who create the music, and itis all because of illegal music downloading. While there are some statistics which bear up the music industryis claims, there is evidence to the contrary; according to a story in Wired News, many independent music stores are doing just peachy, thank you very much. These stores cater to customers in their own unique ways, and actually look at downloads as a way to generate interest in new artists. From Wired News:

Take Hoodlums Music, located on the Arizona State University campus, which opened during the heyday of Napster. One might think Net-savvy students would ignore the shop in favor of free downloads.

"Itis a myth," said Steve Wiley, co-owner of the store. "We see them wanting to buy music." High prices, rather than file sharing, are what usually stop a kid from buying a CD, Wiley said.

Typically, the music industry wants stores to sell CDs for $18 when they should be going for $15, he said. That $3 can make the difference in terms of whether or not a CD is going to sell. "The file sharing, the Internet -- just makes them music junkies," Wiley said.

Paul Epstein, owner of Twist & Shout, a store in Denver, agreed that piracy has helped his bottom line. He said itis like radio, another form of promotion that spurs sales. "File sharing is a danger, but it really turns a lot of kids on to music," he said.

The independent music shops that are thriving have built a close connection to their communities and deliver personal service that so-called big box stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy canit match, the panelists said.

Thereis much more in the full article at Wired News.