Are Music Stores Becoming Obsolete?

Are Music Stores Becoming Obsolete?
Growing up as a young teen, one of my favorite places to be in malls were music stores! Usually, when plans were made between my friends me, we would meet up at the music store first. During the Summer time, you were considered cool if you had a job there.

Not only did it supply physical CD copies of the hottest selling albums from our favorite artists. The music store, in general, had a good vibe about it that was really enjoyable from a social perspective.

It seems, however, music stores are becoming a thing of the past with the massive increase of digital streaming platforms.

From a consumers point of view, this is good due to more availability. From a retailers perspective though, it doesn't seem beneficial.

Nowadays when popular artists plan on releasing an album, roughly 50,000-100,000 physical copies are made. The rest are digital sales from the dominant streaming services right now like iTunes (Apple), Tidal, Spotify, and a few others.

From what I've come to notice, most artists rely on digital sales instead of physical copies sold. Simply put, a new era of music collecting is upon us. Unfortunately, it seems music stores are suffering from this new wave. Whenever I to go to the mall, the music store is always empty on any day.

What I've also seen is music stores attempting to diversify with other niches including gaming sections and music accessories.

Despite these tries, from my vantage point, it appears as if music stores are fighting a losing battle. Where does the majority of your music come from? Also, do you feel the principle of a music store is becoming obsolete?


I believe that music stores will eventually just decrease in number mainly because of the availability of music through stores in the internet. It is rather more convenient to be able to buy songs from Itunes than to go to a music store. Nowadays I see no need for physical discs for music. I am afraid that music stores will eventually turn out to be like a store for collectors.
Posted by giovanniiiii on 08-19-2017
I agree that music stores will just dwindle in number and will stay relevant for a long time. However, those stores in the future will be more like a museum or an information center where you can get a glimpse of the big posters of the present popular singers. They cannot remain to be simple record bars because the internet is already encroaching on business that online stores are now the trend.
Posted by Corzhens on 10-09-2018
Definitely the music stores are becoming increasingly obsolete Here in my country, the movie rental companies also practically do not exist and I think this tendency will be more and more in the next years. The internet has brought us the advantage of buying movies and music online. However, many traders will simply have to change their business, otherwise they may go bankrupt.
Posted by hermessantos on 08-19-2017
I think music stores are becoming obsolete because people prefer to buy music at home. They don't need to get out of their houses just to buy a CD for example. Nowadays, technology is increasing in a notorious way where You can buy everything you want on the internet.
Posted by pizzalover on 08-19-2017
Pretty much so yes. Nowadays we are faced with a multitude of options to buy our media online. More than one store for sure. Also if we prefer to have the physical media we can purchase it on any website and have it delivered to our house without even having to leave it. So I don't see music stores and blockbusters lasting much longer.
Posted by Marvadaum on 08-19-2017
I think they are becoming obsolete. They used to be very common in malls, and I can't even think of any malls that have them right now. Most people seem to buy their music either online or straight from their computer, tablet Iphone or whatever internet connected device they have. I think many people are wondering about music stores and how useful they are. You don't see people in them much.
Posted by kgord on 08-19-2017
I still see some stores here that sell CDs and I even recently brought out my CD collection, but the problem was that there was nothing to play them on. I think this would be the struggle of many stores for physical media nowadays and the near future because physical media is just going obsolete. I'm not even sure anymore why video games are still sold in discs, but I guess many people still like buying it that way. I actually would like to get back to playing discs but it's just a little more trouble than it's worth considering online streaming services have made it so easy to compile and play our own playlists.
Posted by Wubwub on 09-30-2017
In a way, i think it's becoming obsolete if i may say, why bother to get/ own a music store, when you can own a website to download such musics. when you know 90% of people get their musics online. But come to think of it, i don't really buy musics from music stores except albums, i don't like downloading albums so i just get into a music store and get it, if they are more people like me out there then it's not really obsolete And car owners also, they are many cars they use CD play in it's system, so it requires you to get a CD from where? a music store of cause. so it's not obsolete
Posted by Authord on 08-19-2017
Music stores.. I don't even remember the last time I was there. It is much easier to own a website where you sell music, or something like a streaming service. I'm not even using the download function anymore, I was using Deezer for a long time and Spotify as of right now. Maybe small shops will continue to exist for collection purposes, but as of right now they are becoming obsolete. I have bluetooth in my car so I won't use CDs there. And I'm sure a lot of other people do.
Posted by Tania997 on 08-19-2017
It is sad that this is happening. This was one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid/teenager, visiting music stores and look at the CDs wishing I had money to buy everything I see. I like the physical CDs because it's something you can collect and one of the best things in my opinion about buying one of these is the booklet. The last CD I purchased was in 2013 and since then music stores have been fading away here lately and they don't have much to offer anymore.
Posted by felabruno on 08-19-2017
Those stores are simply magical and only those who are really fans of music can understand this. I can't explain it right (at least not just by writing), but the feeling of being inside one of them is sensational. Even the air is different!

Unfortunately, sooner or later I can't see them surviving to this whole process of modernization. It's a very massive advance that gives them no other opportunity than to close their doors.
Posted by wiseagent on 08-19-2017
Jonathan Solomon
Yes!! I don't normally reply to comments, but yours is worth it! People don't understand the essence, feel, and vibe that music stores had. Especially when they were well managed by staff who wanted to play a part in the store itself being alive! You're right, even the air is different... haha. I remember my mom telling me how she would work two jobs in the summertime. One of which is a job at the record store. She said it shaped her taste for music years to come. What I love about the music store is that you can scroll through albums for hours and hours finding gems within piles of CD baskets. Sad to see this period going, but at least the memories will remain forever.
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 08-20-2017
They definitely are. The mall in our area use to have a number of music stores and now there is only one. It also sells other things too because it can not survive on music alone. I amean not sure how good they do in business because any time I have been there, there has been few people in their.
Posted by Sue on 08-19-2017
I think that every physical music store will be closing by 2020 because everything is getting very digital and you can find every song that you heard on the internet, it will be like blockbuster stores. While the time passes by, all the things are getting more digital and technological, so we will be getting more gadgets and digital things, like music, movies, books, series, and all types of entertainment.
Posted by BatmanWayne on 08-19-2017
Actually let us state the fact, music stores are gradually decreasing. This is because of the rate at which 75% of music are being sold and downloaded online instead of going to music stores to purchase your favorite music. Getting access to your favorite music online is much more faster than that of getting it from the music stores. If someone does not have access to the internet then he or she can get it from the music stores.
Posted by babyright on 08-19-2017
In my experience, they most definitely are NOT. In downtown Atlanta, Georgia alone, there are several stores, and bands who visit town still play in them to promote their gigs and albums. This always generates a lot of buzz, and so when fans come out to see the bands, they definitely spend money in these stores. I was in one just the other day, and it was packed with shoppers buying vinyl, music magazines, and even local mixed tapes.
Posted by JoeMilford on 08-19-2017
We never really had any main stream music stores here in my country. The street vendors had a bigger crowd! It's even worse these days with everything music and movie being purchased online. I gather these stores would have had to diversify by now and acknowledge some other means of promoting themselves. I've seen a few of the partial ones convert into gaming centers and internet cafes. It's best to identify with the changing times if not these stores will see themselves become as obsolete as the dusted Cd's that once was the pride and joy of graceful aisles of that favorite music store that was the swing of things perhaps more than a decade ago.
Posted by Joteque on 08-19-2017
I think this is a funny question. I'm 35 years old and I haven't been in a music store since I was a teenager. By the time I came of age the music store had lost most of the mystique that the record stores of old had. There was no local culture or expertly curated employee picks. It was just the cold, clinical corporate facade of an industry that carried everything and anything it could to make as much money as it could with no regard for the art form it was hawking. So, as you might imagine, a lot of my generation has little affection for the music store.
Posted by JaiGuru on 08-19-2017
Do you remember the cassettes? There was a time when you listened to music on a cassette tape. We don't see these things these days. The Music CD will suffer the same fate in the future. CDs will be a passe. I had a lot of cassette, my father's and mine collection (I bought cassettes when I was in early teens), after our cassette player broke, we did not buy another cassette player, we bought CD player instead. Since we did not have a player, we were no longer using cassettes. Then one day we threw them.
Posted by vinaya on 08-19-2017
No I don't think, even in the fast rising of easy to download music songs in the internet music store still appeals to a lot of patronage in the area. Like bookstores, there still many people that prefers to read in cold hard covered books rather than reading it conveniently in their kindle or ipad. A younger generation still appeals to the idea of going outside and visit as many places they can go to including the music store and listen to the old local music they could not find just browsing through thousands of new songs through spotify and youtube. So unless there's an ongoing war and armageddon happening in the world, you can still see a lot of music store with many people buying records in there.
Posted by antonmia01 on 08-19-2017
Technology is in a phase where everything becomes handy and very much convenient. From going to music stores to buy songs, now just one click/enter you'll have a copy of your most favorite song. Nowadays music stores cannot keep up with technology, I rarely see people going to the music store to just buy a CD for a list of song. Time will come that CD'S will become outdated.
Posted by DanoCath on 08-19-2017
The digital world has led to the failure of physical copies. Every kind of music, whether new or old is readily available online. The music can be easily downloaded either free of cost or at a minimal cost. In addition to this, the kind of music portals have also changed a lot. Gone are the eras of cassettes and compact discs. Most of the people don't have music players also. They listen to downloaded music on their laptops or phones. This further leads to decline in the sales of physical copies.
Posted by amitkokiladitya on 08-20-2017
Yeah, I do think that music stores are becoming obsolete. I remember when I was younger I used to always go to the music shops to either buy albums or to simply listen to music there since they allowed it for free.

I honestly can't recall the last time that I visited a music shop. There just isn't any need when we have all of this digitalization. Why go to a store when you can get the same thing online for a better price? Plus many people don't even buy albums anymore. I think in a few years music shops will go out of business.
Posted by Mehano on 08-20-2017
Sure, change is the only constant thing in nature.Everything change according to what is trending or in vogue.

People have devices that one can download or streams any old or new releases of music online,then why buy a CD or a DVD plate. I think it boils down to time.

Times have changed and the music industry is moving with the times.
Posted by lovely on 08-20-2017
I have seen some of the music stores owned by malls and the brands are closing. They had CDs and DVDs and it seems to be closing. The streaming seems to be a good option lately. And people are investing into that. You can see that there are people who may invest into this and get the downloaded content. So surely it can be one good option for you to start with. In that case stores such as that are closed.
Posted by overcast on 08-20-2017
They are most definitely going extinct. I can't even remember the last time I went to a store to buy a CD or even a mp3 player that played anything that wasn't digital. Maybe it's just because I'm a generic millennial, but I don't think anyone could continue running a CD shop and expect to make a decent living while the internet still exists.
Posted by AlexHarris on 08-20-2017
Music stores lately have decrease, because of all the new trends of producing music and easily accessing it in the internet. If you really want to buy tracks, a traditional way of playing music like using CDs and DVDs in the music stores. Only CDs at home are only collection of the old artist until the MP3 download started to trend, I've never played anymore using the CD player.
Posted by Gidsmonts101 on 08-20-2017
I think so. There are many music stores that are closing. At this era that we can easily download music and movies without paying much, only few people will choose to buy in music stores.
Posted by zheh on 08-20-2017
Hi, Johnatan I think that the music stores will close and disappear in time because the actual generation listens to music from the radio, Youtube or it just steals the music from the Internet. The new generation is not buying DVDs with music or movies, they prefer to take if from the Internet for free!
Posted by wallet on 08-20-2017
I used to go to those music stores earlier on. Over the years I have found many music stores closing their doors over here. Technological advancement is helping us in many ways but on the other side driving many traditional businesses out of the market. To be honest I find it more convenient and faster to buy music albums online. I am also able to download many songs for free. Nowadays I can also enjoy music videos for free on YouTube.
Posted by Pixie on 08-20-2017
I will put it to you this way there are no music stores where I live. We only have best buy and their selection is super limited. CD, DVD, Blu Ray and UHD Blu Ray are all going to go the way dinosaur in the next 5 or 10 years. Right now every ISP provider is working on releasing 1GB+ internet with unlimited transfer within the next 3 years. And Comcast is rolling it out in Michigan as we speak. Because everything is going to go digital. Because if everything is digital you don't really own it and you can't resell it or lend it to a friends to listen to the cd or watch the Blu Ray.
Posted by Soulwatcher on 08-20-2017
I think after 10 years music store will not be present. They are going to be vanish. Day by day the internet music collections are getting rich. The maximum songs are getting found on internet- youtube, sound cloud, reverb nation or many other music based platform.There uploading music is free and downloading music is also free.

Thanks Centurion
Posted by centurion on 08-21-2017
It's sad that music stores are starting to disappear. My hometown isn't a huge city, but it was a good sized town that had two or three music stores when I was going to high school there. They've all since closed down, which is really disappointing. One of them used to have a nice coffee shop inside where my friends and I used to like to spend time.

The city I live in now is much larger, so there are a couple music stores still open here, but I've seen some come and go in our mall as well. Anymore it seems like the stores that thrive are the ones who sell all different forms of media under their roof. Before Hastings went bankrupt, I felt like their business model was the best for the way things were going. They sold music, vinyl, comics, books, movies, video games, and general merchandise and collectibles. I think they had the best approach to the changing market.
Posted by TheArticulate on 08-21-2017
I haven't seen a music store in years. I personally use digital music and have not purchased a CD in years. The music store used to be the place to hang out at! As a teenager I was always in the music store!
Posted by BigDreamer on 08-21-2017
In the 90s, I've noticed that there were a lot of music stores. Those were the days when cassette tapes were still the norm. When CDs came along, it became easier to copy and pirate music. Still, a lot of music shops were in operation. But when smartphones were born it became very easy to share music with other people. This spelled doom for music shops. I saw a lot of them stop operations. I no longer see any of them in malls. Not just music shops, but also stores that sell and rent out movies.

The ability to easily share different files across devices really changed things for music shops. I don't think that they could ever recover from this.
Posted by limberg on 08-21-2017
Definitely. I know that a few of the music stores near me have had to close down because they are just not getting enough customers and aren't able to keep up with their overhead costs. The problem is that with services like Spotify, Apple Music and even iTunes there just isn't a need for music stores. Why should someone go down to their music store when they can buy whatever music they want online, without having to leave their house and usually at much lower prices?
Posted by kingcool52 on 08-22-2017
I wouldn't say they're "obsolete." There are many collectors of physical music. Vinyls, something that was claimed to be "obsolete," are making a powerful comeback.

I just think they will become very scarce, maybe one or two within a certain mile radius as opposed to how it used to be. Piracy and Spotify are definitely massive threats over them. Despite that, however, I don't think music stores will ever truly go away simply because of how many hobbyists and purists exist in the music world.
Posted by leaf on 08-22-2017
yes! you just don't need to go over a store to get your music. You can just buy it online now. It's easier, cheaper and faster. I think they will go away eventually. After all they are already fading away. I remember there use to be at least one in every mall in my city. Now they are disappearing more and more. and some malls don't even have one... At least not in my country...
Posted by Pink_Turtle on 08-22-2017
I didn't realize that they weren't already obsolete. Although, I guess there are still some that cater to the vinyl crowd and that community is growing. I saw a Youtube video where there was a statement that vinyl records sales surpassed digital sales last year. I don't know how accurately I remember that but if that's true then it would be kind of amazing. I think there will always be a place for physical media, and only time will tell if the community grows big enough that it becomes relevant again, but this does make me feel optimistic.
Posted by Wubwub on 08-23-2017
Yes they are. What's the point in buying music in a store when you can easily download it. I think I never saw a music store ever in my life, I would be surprised if they still exist.
Posted by MatejaBogunovic on 08-23-2017
Yes. Music stores HAVE BECOME obsolete. Which is why I'm glad that I enjoyed them when I had the chance. I once worked in Washington, D.C. and there were two music stores close by each other. It was close enough to my job that I could walk to either one on my lunch break. Sometimes I would even stop in after work, buy some music and take it home for me and my husband to enjoy. These days everybody shops online. My kids download music from the Internet. My husband is satisfied with his old CD collection or concerts he records on video tape. I don't really like most of the music the new artists are making any more. The days of perusing the collections in music stores are a distant memory. :)
Posted by cmoneyspinner on 08-25-2017
Yes, I believe they are becoming obsolete because everything is digital nowadays. Music can now be downloaded and bought online, if anyone really "buys" music online. There are so many sites out there that offer free MP3 downloads. You don't even have to pay for it. Call it piracy, but it really does benefit those who don't have the money. That's why you see less and less people buying at CD's at music stores. Only those hardcore audiophiles who want their music uncompressed buy from music stores. That's another thing. If you want to enjoy the quality of an uncompressed music file, there are formats like FLAC and WAV that offer you uncompressed music quality. And those also can be downloaded for free! Take your pick, would you like to pay for a physical CD, or would you like to download free music anywhere, anytime using your mobile phone? I guess the decline in the sales of CD's shows which option people choose nowadays.
Posted by Xyruz13 on 08-27-2017
I think I probably only went on a music store or shops once or maybe twice in my lifetime as I'm not fan of buying those expensive c.d.s and tapes that they sell really expensive especially if its from the latest and most famous singer during that time. And its not only musical stores that are getting obsolete these days but music c.d.s, video c.d.s and not so recently music tapes. More and more people switch on listening songs from youtube and other digital streaming sites from their very own smart phones as its quite handy and easy to navigate with. I miss those days though playing tape albums of BoyZone, Backstreet, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and most songs artist on the 90's that my father bought from Saudi and listening to it from side A to side B. Although almost all of them are gone as of now. Well technology makes life so much easier and its not so bad to adapt with it as most people do.
Posted by narutos3nn1n on 08-29-2017
I think yes because this present generation majority of them buy online like Spotify of just download for free and burn it to CD many ways are made this this generation. But there are still some few people who like to buy original CD/DVD copy of that album.
Posted by tophew on 09-11-2017
Yes of course I think so, music stores are on a gradual decrease as the day goes by, no one now enjoy going to get a record at the music store when it's very easy and much more convenient to download the same music online which would offer the same amount of satisfaction listening to it on a record.

I know it's technology advancement that brought about these because in the early 80's and 90's, music stores are very popular and people tend to flock in every now and then to get a copy of their favorite music.

But today the case is very different as one can seat at the comfort of his home and just go online and download or listen to any music of his or her choice without any form of stress and even it would be cheaper in cost considering what he/she would have paid for a copy of the music in the music store. It will just cost the person a few megabytes from his internet subscriptions and just like that the music is at his disposal to listen and enjoy as he see fit.
Posted by Heatman on 09-14-2017
The world is becoming digital and we are getting most of what we want online including music. We have to change with change. Really it is here with us.
Posted by stbrians on 11-07-2018
Yeah, unfortunately, they are. Nowadays people either download music illegally or they buy online. CDs are becoming a thing of the past. It's more convenient to get a digital copy of a song... it kind of sucks though. I loved CDs when I was younger and I'm a fan of records too. It's such a shame that they'll all be forgotten soon.
Posted by kataomoi on 09-18-2017
Music stores have become obsolete because the Internet has democratized the distribution of art among other thing, and i think that it's nice to get rid of big corporations controlling the music.
Posted by joey98 on 10-21-2017
Yes, indeed. We now rarely hear people playing cd music through their DVD/CD player since they can easily access their own music through their smartphones, laptops and other devices and it's much cheaper when it comes to the consumption of electricity. I haven't seen a music store nowadays since you can now easily download your favorite music from lots of sites and most of them don't require payment. Technologies, nowadays, are so easy to lose their market value.
Posted by ColdFlameChris on 11-08-2017
I have to say yes to this. With the digital technology that makes it easy for people to copy music, it is expected that the public will not be buying music from the music stores anymore. That is also the problem of movie producers since their movies are uploaded in the internet to be copied and watched for free. That is called digital piracy and there is no safeguard against it for now. Record producers have already admitted their shortcomings against digital piracy and their only action now is inaction – they had stopped producing music records.
Posted by Corzhens on 01-03-2018
I think it is true. The music industry is about to decrease their profit because today, so many ways to get the copy of the new albums of our favorite music singers. We can easily download music in the internet, listening in the site like spotify and other music sites and all this can do free or with minimum payment. So why people buy expensive album if they can get in less or free.
Posted by mark86 on 09-26-2018
I really think that physical music stores will be having a hard time scoring profits specially now where music can be downloaded in a digiyal format. Internet will pla a big part not only in music industry but in all types businesses. What should we do is that to adopt in the changing environment in the way that business is being done today.
Posted by bee.rthooyah on 10-25-2018
We happen to download most of our music and carry them in flash discs and in our gadgets like computer or smartphones. There remains fewer people who buy music in stores.

Soon music stalls will die out. Things are now digitalised
Posted by stbrians on 11-07-2018
I think they are obsolete. I don't know one single person that still buys their music from a music store. I think that everyone gets their music from various online channels. From Youtube, Apple store to Spotify. I don't believe that this should even be a point of discussion. The market for music stores is now for old records, tapes and CD's. Anything else is now officially sold online. It is even cheaper to buy everything online. E'g cost of making Cd's e.t.c. not there.
Posted by jaymish on 11-08-2018
Certainly here they are. Several chains of CD stores actually closed down because people have turned to online sources for getting their music. It’s just the way the world is evolving I think - and I think it’s going to continue happening. I think we’re seeing the same with some book stores too.
Posted by amelia88 on 12-13-2018
Yeah, I think they do. Moreover, I think music stores will disappear soon right before our eyes, simply because there's no need in music stores anymore. Let's say a fan wants to have a special edition collection of his favorite band, then he would simply get it online, thus securing the permanency. To be honest, CD's are fragile to maintain.
Posted by Alania on 12-18-2018