End of an Era


After 64 years in the business of catering to jazz music and Broadway enthusiasts, the Colony Music Center in downtown NYC is set to close its doors. It is just one of the latest bricks-and-mortar casualties of the rapidly changing and competitive musical sales environment, which is primarily serviced by online purveyors of sheet music and recordings.

While the trend towards online boutique stores has meant lower costs and greater convenience for consumers, there is a drawback to the digitization of the sheet music market. As the founder and manager of Colony Music Center Richard Turk put it, “in the retail environment everywhere […] the human element is gone.” These changes to the music industry as well as the broader creative industry reflect exactly what media industry leader Jordan Levin (cited in Flew, 2011, p. 69) described as:

the shift away from a top-down business model being imposed on consumers by the producers and distributors of media to a bottom-up business model emerging out of the consumption behavior of media users.

Changes in the market, technology, and innovation have disrupted the balance of power, creating a greater awareness and responsiveness to the needs and wants of the consumer. Paradoxically, while consumers are becoming more influential in the market, some are losing important sources of community bonds and social interaction – as in the case of the Colony Music Center. It will be interesting to see if new creative industry businesses will need to address this lack of human interaction, or will music aficionados just eventually forget the ‘old record’ smells of their favorite music stores?

The full news article can be found at: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/169354-Curtain-to-Come-Down-on-Colony-Famous-Times-Square-Music-Store/pg1.

Muge Fazlioglu

One Response to “End of an Era”

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