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Large Retail Stores Gain Larger Control of the Music Market

February 14, 2006

By Latin Pulse Music

As of November 2004, Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy stores have gained control of a larger percentage of the music market. Chain stores still control half the music market but these three companies have sold $1.3 billion more CDs than they did in 1996. Now they capture one-third of the market.*

mass market
discounters 26%
chain stores
independent stores
internet and other

[up $1.3B]

[down $330M]

[down $120M]

[up $29.8M]
Wal-Mart, Target,
Best Buy 34.9%
Tower, Sam Goody
Local Retailers
Amazon, download sites
*source: SoundScan, B=billion, M=million

An average Wal-Mart carries about 5,000 titles. This means that if you want to be categorized as a major commercial success your label better have that Wal-Mart account. Don't count on the chain stores or independent outlets to 'even the playing field' and neutralize the force of these large discount stores. There is only one sector of the market that can change this -download music sites.

**We ran across this article (source rollingstone.com - issue 960) which is now 2 years old. Funny how it's still incredibly relevant.

  • User_testimonials 
  • There is a history of musical innovations being forged on the island of Cuba before finally breaking out into the wider world and making their mark on music at large. Books like those by Rebeca Mauleón have enabled more of us to participate in that process. Now, ten years after Rebeca’s last book, Kevin Moore has produced a unique and outstanding set of works which make the last twenty years of Cuban music accessible to anyone who cares to learn to play it. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the world is now ready for an injection of Cuban timba.
    - Keith Johnson, England