When Other Music, the scrappy East Village record store, opened in , it existed in the shadow of Tower Records, which ran the entire city block across East Fourth Street. By , Virgin Megastore was a short walk away in Union Square. Yet Other Music, known for its dedication to underground and experimental artists, outlived both — Tower shut its 89 American stores in , while Virgin closed in In the face of a shrinking music industry, the longevity of this small shop could be seen as a win for the niche, the curated, even the slightly snobby. As sales of physical music continue to plummet, a no-frills independent record store makes increasingly less sense as a business: Other Music will shut its doors and mail-order service on June 25, more than 20 years after its debut in this once artistically vibrant neighborhood. Other Music Recording Co. Then there are the dreary industry trends: In , streaming nearly doubled from the previous year while CDs sales were down 82 percent from their peak in Madell said. Mac McCaughan, a founder of the band Superchunk and the indie giant Merge Records, said that record shops were part of what brought him to the city in the s.
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Other Music was a music retail store that sold CDs , records and cassettes online and at their brick-and-mortar location in the Noho neighborhood of Manhattan , New York City. The store specialized in the sale of closely curated underground, rare and experimental music. In January , Other Music announced that it planned to sell high-quality MP3 files for download without using any type of digital rights management. The announcement also coincided with the closing of Tower Records ' Lower Manhattan location. According to Other Music co-owner Josh Madell, this closing signifies the growing hardship of selling music out of a physical store, especially considering his store's location just across the street from Tower.
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