In case you haven’t heard, here’s the article.
The question is why? I’m sure plenty of execs at Musicland (the parent company of Media Play) are asking themselves the same question but haven’t found an answer. I just happen to have the answer, and it’s because I don’t shop there.
No, I don’t spend that much money on media, whether it’s books, DVDs, music, or what have you. I don’t spend enough to support the local Gray Whale music store, let alone a Media Play. But I still believe that Media Play is going out of business because I don’t shop there, because if I don’t shop there, that means a lot of other people don’t shop there as well.
Case in point, last Christmas I bought the Napoleon Dynamite DVD for everyone in my office. Where did I go? I went to Best Buy. Why? I can’t remember. I think it was just the first place that came to mind, plus there’s one within two miles of where our office is. Now that I think about it, I think I also heard on the news that they had a bunch of copies and were selling out fast.
Where would I have gone after that? Probably to Wal-Mart, because I often assume, perhaps incorrectly, that things at Wal-Mart cost less than at other places.
And if I had been thinking ahead I probably would have purchased online at Buy.com or Amazon.
Media Play never came to mind. I don’t know where one is located. I haven’t heard about them in years. True, I’m just one man, but if they’re not reaching me, chances are they aren’t reaching people like me, and there may be quite a few people like me out there.
To sum it in general, I shop at successful stores. You could say they are successful because I shop there, or I shop there because they are successful, and both statements would be true. I suspect the reason why I shop at certain stores are because they are doing things in the right way to get me to shop there, and I’m probably part of the majority in these cases.
What could Media Play have done to be the first thing to come to mind last year when I went and bought 15 DVDs? On average I watch less than an hour of TV per month, but I do listen to about 5 hours of talk radio per month. I’m not into podcasting yet, but I do go to news websites at least once per day. In this specific case, one of the things that influenced my decision to shop at Best Buy was reading about how mad sales were going in the local paper (the online version…do people really read the paper version anymore with the folding and the black fingers and not being able to search?). That’s a plug for PR firms.
My point is that traditional advertising on TV and newspapers probably wouldn’t have worked on me. Radio might have. PR probably would have. Certainly other factors, like having a Best Buy down the street, are circumstantial and can’t be entirely controlled for.
In the end, I don’t know exactly why Media Play didn’t come to my mind, but they didn’t. Maybe with some more research I could find out. All I know is that I’ve never shopped there, and I believe their announcement that they’re going out of business is a direct result of that.