Regarding Wayne Rosso's article: EMI To Mom & Pops: Eat Cake Bitch
It's hard to argue with poor reporting. It's hard, because argument isn't necessary. One must merely submit the actual facts and move on. Wayne Rosso made a small splash yesterday with a post on his blog entitled: EMI To Mom & Pops: Eat Cake Bitch. Classy. In this post, Rosso generalizes that:
"Last week EMI sales reps started making calls to many if not all of their small accounts, mostly independent mom & pop stores, to tell them that they would no longer sell them product!!! ... EMI intends to save money by not selling their CD’s to independent retailers... In making this policy change, EMI took the unusual step of notifying these retailers by phone instead of the standard letter. Could it be that they didn’t want anything in black & white?"
The rest of the piece is filled with, well, not much. So after speaking with actual sources within the music industry, these are the real life facts we gathered on the matter. EMI sent letters in February to a handful of small physical retailers (less than one percent of their physical accounts) and informed them they'd need to go through one-stops for product. They gave about four months notice and provided a list of options for one-stops. EMI didn't just call them last minute as Rosso states in his piece. Even Rosso's own commenters (an indie retailer) states: "This is sort of a false story. EMI closed a few accounts that were doing minimal orders. No stores in Seattle, or in our coalition for that matter, were closed. The ones that were closed got 3 months written notice."
It's true that EMI closed some physical accounts. Yet, as the market at large moves to digital, wouldn't one consider it a wise business decision to spend more money and man/woman power on digital distribution? One would think so. Isn't that what people criticize majors for all the time? Failure to change and adapt to market conditions?
In closing, it's easy to take shots at majors, and sometimes they deserve it for sure. We at Stark love indie retail and do our best everyday to drive business to their stores and give them the love they deserve. Personally, I support them by dropping hundreds of bucks a month into their stores. What up Other Music. Yet, to Russo, if you're gonna make a big deal out of, what seems to be, a fairly small thing, take some time to check your facts. Thanks for coming Wayne. We'll stick with Lefsetz. That's weird to say.
And now, we'll get back to contributing to the music world by writing about actual music.