Def Jux founder Ameichi Uzoigwe delivered some provocactive statements that seemed to dismiss the relevance of music stores, today at the NARM convention’s state-of-the-industry panel. But despite his statements — which touched on music discovery and mobile — many retailers responded positively.
During the session, which solely featured panelists representing music manufacturers, Uzoigwe said the industry needs to focus on the fact that people aren’t going to record stores as much as they previously did and react accordingly. “We don’t expect them to come to record stores anymore so we go to them,” he said.
Uzoigwe prefers to do in-stores at places like Apple retail stores (not to be confused with iTunes), and skateboard events and shops, rather then record stores. “If they are coming to see my act at an in-store they probably already have our records,” he said. Broadening in-stores to new locations will expose music and brands to new audiences, who will in-turn find ways to get that music.
And while acquiring that music may still happen at record stores, Uzoigwe and others noted that consumers now, and in coming years, will have many more options to purchase music.
Uzoigwe pointed to mobile as a developing source of future music discovery. Using department store plays as an example, he pointed that consumers will have a way to identify and buy songs played over in-store systems via mobile devices.
“I though Ameichi was great,” said Newbury Comics CEO Mike Dreese. “The truth will set you free.”
Another traditional music retailer also game Uzoigwe thumbs up. “He is just saying what everyone up there is thinking, but won’t admit to us in a venue like this,” said the head of a mid-sized chain.
Meanwhile, an executive with a large account says he has conflicting feelings over the hip-hop executives comments. “I completely respect him for saying that, especially for doing it here,” that executive said. But he also conceded he harbors an inclination to pull Def Jux records from his stores.