A few years back the UK major supermarkets took on the high street music retailers such as HMV and Virgin (who became Zavvi and then went under).
At the time I wasn’t overly concerned as I felt HMV and co had been over priced when it came to the charts – and harming the music business. A premium on back catalogue or obscure titles is the price of the store taking the risk of holding something they may not be able to sell and ok by me. So some pricing competition on the top 20 charts couldn’t hurt.
The outcome was a lot of belly aching about how supermarkets would destroy the high street rather than taking the battle to the super markets. As it turns out that skirmish was nothing to the growth of the net and Amazon particularly.
Back to today; having just been into a reasonably sized Tesco to get some shopping I was up for some instant CD gratification in the form of Daft Punk’s latest opus (official UK charts put it at no 23 UK Charts). But not a hint of it, with a couple of exceptions the store reflected nothing of the biggest selling names, the shelves are stuffed with compilations.
So who wins, well the music business aren’t selling more albums feeding and inspiring artists which will produce material for the future compilations. This means buying drops in turn the supermarkets actually losing out.
As for me, I shall start avoiding the supermarkets – instant gratification will come from the indie stores or dare I say it HMV – a name I used to consider the enemy of sensible pricing and good taste.