This weekend, many major music and record retailers will converge on San Diego for the NARM (National Association of Recorded Merchandisers) convention. The annual gathering is where a variety of music-related companies showcase their latest products with artists playing their new signature instruments and spotlighting the latest in techonological advances in the industry.
There are some changes to the convention this year, such as artist performances being open to the public for the first time and video game developers and cell phone companies being added to the panel discussions. There will also be over 25 artists performing at a venue outside of the convention, in what’s being dubbed “NARM At Night.” But Variety is suggesting that NARM might be running out of steam, with industry executives theorizing that this might be the last one:
During its heydays in the ’80s and ’90s, nearly 1,000 companies participated in NARM. This year, that number has shrunk to little more than 300. “Nobody thinks of NARM as breaking any news,” says Bruce Resnikoff, president of Universal Music Enterprises and Verve Music Group president/CEO. “It needs some excitement, to introduce something big like E3 does. Who would’ve thought a few years ago that the Beatles, Eminem and Jay-Z would make news at a video game convention? It shows how we’re all looking for new ways to reach consumers.”
Sure, we’re in a recession, and the music industry is feeling it. But it’s disappointing to think that it’s affecting not just to record stores, but all the way to musical instruments and the places to buy said instruments. Plus, where will the Internet get to see clips of artists saying how awesome their custom-designed guitar is? There should definitely be a convention for an exchange of information among music retailers, but as the death rattle of print journalism and steadily declining sales of records has proven, we live in a new time.