In Part III of his series on how the Long Tail has caused the death of the blockbuster album, Chris Anderson writes that on Friday, Musicland, which operates more than 800 stores under the names Sam Goody and MediaPlay, filed for bankruptcy.
Musicland blames their woes on “a diminishing music and movies marketplace, growing competition from big box retailers and the increase of music downloading”. And I think they’ve got a point. I find I’ve been buying the vast majority of my music either from Amazon, which combines low prices, no taxes, and no shipping costs with their “all you can eat” shipping plan, or the local Borders, where I’ll often pickup a CD, a book, and/or a magazine. It’s much more inviting shopping experience than any Sam Goody’s I’ve ever been in. And unlike any Sam Goody’s, its coffee bar and WiFi makes it a great Third Place.
Goody was a great model from the late ’70s to the early ’90s, which, perhaps not coincidentally, was when I did the bulk of my shopping there. But both retailing in general and the music industry specifically changed radically in the ensuing years, and Goody didn’t.