23 July 2007

Not-So-Rough Trade

As I and a few other enlightened individuals have been banging on about for some time, allowing digital files to be copied is not the end of business - just of business as usual. Essentially, people selling physical things - like books or CDs - need to recognise the differences from digital ones, and build on them positively.

Here's a good example:

At a time when CD price wars and music downloads are putting entire High Street chains at risk, independent retailers Rough Trade are opening what they say is the country's biggest music-only specialist store.


Despite the company's niche reputation, he feels it can fulfil what he sees as the "enormous demand" for a shop that offers expertise and can recommend music with authority - and he doesn't think downloads are killing the CD.

"With this store, we feel there's a dormant music shopper out there who's not buying music from the High Street simply because they don't like High Street retailers, not because they've gone off physical formats," he says.

"If anything, the people I talk to appreciate vinyl and CDs more than ever in this digital age. It's just that they've gone off the way it's sold.

Exactly. Shops are about the experience of shopping, not just of buying. Similarly, CDs and other analogue obejcts are about the experience of having and holding such objects, not just what they contain. As the new Rough Trade shop shows, some people are beginning to get this. (Via TechDirt.)

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