Sympathy For The Devil?

I just saw on the news that a bunch of record stores that I don’t shop at due to retardedly high prices are protesting against a decision by The Rolling Stones to sell their new DVD boxed set through Best Buy and Future Shop exclusively and not include these other stores in the action. You might be asking yourself just how they’ve decided to protest. Well they’re going to stick it to The Stones by costing themselves money. I know, I can see Mick Jagger’s lips trembling from here. The stores in question, HMV, Sunrise and Music World are pulling everything Stones related off of their shelves as their way of making a statement that this is profoundly uncool. It’s also profoundly unsmart for a few reasons.

First, they’re not hurting the band. If you’ve been with this site since the very beginning or have skimmed the archives like the devoted fan that you are, you’ve seen me explain this already. But just to refresh your memory, record sales don’t pay the bills on their own, most of the money artists make comes from touring around the world playing live shows. Last time I checked they didn’t have any shows planned for the local mall. Not only that, but they’re the Rolling goddamn Stones, I don’t think they’re going to be all that upset if Sticky Fingers takes a bit of a sales dip because of this, I think they’ve sold a few copies already. The whole pull the music off the shelves thing might work on somebody who hasn’t been around for 700 years but I think the Stones aren’t going to feel this very much in the old pocketbook.

This doesn’t hurt the consumer either since now people like you and I can get a fair price for our Rolling Stones purchases. Sure you might have to go further to find the stuff if you don’t have a store near you that isn’t participating in this sham of a protest but by the time you figure in gas money to get there I think it’d still be cheaper than hitting the local HMV to pick up what you want. Have you seen the prices in there lately? Christ, I think I could rent my own music store in the mall beside HMV for less money than it would cost me to get every Stones album ever made.

As for who this decision does hurt, I’m counting the record labels and the stores themselves which is fine with me. No problem there, go Stones! The stores are saying that they’re costing themselves at least 2 million dollars in sales by doing this. Now granted I don’t have a business degree and I’m pretty shitty with math but isn’t that, um, not good? There’s just something about people bitching about lost potential sales revenue and fighting this by costing themselves even more sales that just makes the logical part of my head spin.

As for the record companies, I’m sure they’ll find a way to blame this all on downloading. Honestly, somebody needs to get these people glass belly buttons so that they can look out and see what’s going on in the real world sometimes.

I have a mission for all of you, at least the ones who live near any of the stores involved in this. I want you to either call email or go down there personally and ask for anything you can think of by the Rolling Stones and then watch the kid behind the counter try to explain why you can’t have it in a way that doesn’t sound stupid. Then when they’ve explained it to you I want you to ask why they’re willingly costing themselves lots of money to complain about a little bit of lost revenue and then watch as they squirm and get a manager who won’t be able to give you a good answer either. If you manage to get somebody to admit that head office is filled with idiots,
let me know.
Even if they won’t say so publicly, you know they’re thinking it and you’ve made somebody have to face their own private shame, which is always a good thing.

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