This year, more than 300 million CDs will be sold - give or take - in the US alone. So, what if there are fans that want to buy your CD, and hand you the bundled markups that come with it?
Welcome to the perfectly disruptive riddle. On one hand, the world is rapidly moving towards digital formats, and the outlets for buying CDs are shrinking just as quickly. But for the right artist, there's money to be made - right now - which means, you can put food on your table - right now.
This isn't lost on a number of entrepreneurs, including Thump Records CEO Bill Walker. In a partnership with LA-based Mall Jamz, Walker decided to start stocking 7-Elevens with CDs, of all things. So, instead of driving by boarded-up record stores, music fans still have an impulse, bundled buying opportunity. "It catches people off-guard," Walker relayed, while noting that all discs are under $10. "CDs at 7-Eleven? Really? It never occurs to them that they could find their favorite CDs on sale at 7-Eleven ... until they see them. And bingo - an impulse buy!"
And this isn't necessarily a bland selection of greatest hits and 80s compilations, simply because 7-Elevens pepper a broad variety of neighborhoods. For example, a participating Long Beach 7-Eleven leans heavily towards old-school rap and freestyle. "It's all about niche marketing," Walker noted. "We stock CDs at these stores that cater to the types of customers that frequent that store and to their musical tastes. Whether it is urban, hip-hop, country, rock or whatever genre one can imagine, we find out, through market research, what the traffic (demographics) in that particular store requires and fill that demand."
About 2,600 participating stores are sprinkled throughout the US, and cover spots like Chicago, South Texas, Queens, and the greater Miami area. Drop a note to musicdistribution -at- malljamz.com if you want to make a deal.