By now you've probably read about Wal-Mart's latest coup: scoring an exclusive on the new AC/DC disc.
Peter Kohan over at Appetite for Disruption has written a couple of excellent articles discussing the ramifications of Wal-Mart's forays into the music business. A short excerpt follows.
So, while record retail is tanking, and Wal-Mart itself, as well as retailing giants Best Buy and Target shrink music floor space... while Borders closes stores and puts itself up for sale... while Transworld continues to shrink shelf space devoted to music... while Handleman gets out of the music merchandising and fulfillment game altogether... Wal-Mart is still cleaning everyone's clock by locking up the TALENT people spend money on in the CD category. I know Target has done a few exclusives too, but their profile is much smaller. Best Buy - with their previous Rolling Stones and Elton John DVD exclusives - has also stepped up to the plate before. Starbucks Coffee Company's Starbucks entertainment division signed record deals with Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and others, but those releases were also released through normal record retail channels. But Wal-Mart is very savvily locking up the acts that will make customers drool with anticipation over - will a Guns N' Roses deal for Chinese Democracy be next... if Axl ever delivers the record?
You can read Peter Kohan's entire article here at Appetite for Disruption.