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(AP)   A little known company in Michigan is the true power behind retail music sales and you won't believe the perks they get   ( divider line
    More: Strange  
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23615 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Dec 2003 at 2:50 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

64 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-12-28 12:28:56 PM  

You'd think since it's headquartered in Motown there'd be more talent and quality in today's popular music.

Support small labels and independant record stores.

2003-12-28 01:05:01 PM  
Yeah... my bro-in-law and mother worked for them at various points. Not high-level jobs... just stocking stores.

At some point- not sure if this is the case anymore- stores like K-Mart, Wal-Mart, etc. didn't stock their own music departments... it was all farmed out to these guys... they just set up the shelf space and let this company go at it...
2003-12-28 02:54:55 PM  
Retailers pay the Troy-based company to manage their music departments, keeping them supplied with best-selling titles.

Yep, sounds like it's on the up and up.
2003-12-28 02:57:04 PM  
Sounds like a nifty job.
2003-12-28 02:58:06 PM  
Same people who made Steve Gutenberg a star.

Old news.
2003-12-28 02:58:40 PM  
So these are the guys I can thank for not being able to find any cds by The Cruxshadows in any store anywhere in all of Toledo? Granted Toledo isn't Chicago or anything but we aren't exactly small town USA either.
2003-12-28 02:58:50 PM  
How come on my local (craptastic) "alternative" FM station they started playing Stone Temple Pilots a bunch in October and November ? Could it be that STP had a new album coming out ? ANd they were getting paid to play it ? Ain't that illegal ?

The whole American music biz sucks and that's why most of the music (Outkast being one of the feew excepions) sucks.

The Rolling Stones...Good God. Get off the planet already.
2003-12-28 02:59:11 PM  
Troy, MI is also home to a Hooters Restaurant. The directions? Get off I-75 at exit 69. The exit is labeled "Big Beaver Road."

Hooters, Big Beaver, and 69. That's my kind of place.

2003-12-28 02:59:33 PM  
I don't believe the perks they get. treated to performances by the Goo Goo Dolls...

Those poor, poor people.
2003-12-28 03:01:44 PM  
I for welcome out new Handleman executive overlords...
2003-12-28 03:03:03 PM  
Most major retailers have lots of shelf space that isn't tended to do by their own employees. They're called "rack jobbers". You see it alot in grocery stores. Usually the chip aisle, candy and soda are farmed out to the manufacturer, or an agent of the manufacturer.

ie, Frito Lay has their own employees tend to the chip shelves in most supermarkets... they install the flashy displays, fluff the product when low and stock it. It allows them do sales tracking to see how a certain product is doing.
2003-12-28 03:03:06 PM  
I would have thought it impossible 5 years ago, but today's music radio sucks so bad that I usually just listen to the hippy talk on NPR.
2003-12-28 03:03:08 PM  
Notice the article said "best selling titles;" not "best music." Perhaps this may date me but give me back the time when hard rocking hair bands ruled the scene just as "grunge" started to be talked about. At the very least give me the early seventies psychogenic rock era or folksy protest music with inspiring lyrics and harmonies. Today's music is shiat!!
2003-12-28 03:04:12 PM  
Why'd my pc start playing some crazy music? Is that site to blame? Weird, weird stuff.
2003-12-28 03:04:55 PM  
You'd think since it's headquartered in Motown there'd be more talent and quality in today's popular music.

Troy, MI is hardly Motown. It's strictly 1990's suburban: upscale malls, Applebees and Bennigans, well planned 1980's housing developments nestled between "white flight" 1970's split level ranches, cookie-cutter industrial parks and soccer fields packed with minivans.

[I live ~5 miles from Troy.]
2003-12-28 03:05:26 PM  
They also, until very recently, were the parent company of DVD house Anchor Bay.
2003-12-28 03:07:16 PM  
music is fun.

2003-12-28 03:07:25 PM  
All I have to say is thank God for ESPN radio!

/I got nothin'
2003-12-28 03:07:47 PM  
"Mr. Lopez...we've come for your daughters."
2003-12-28 03:10:58 PM  

My high school mascot was the Trojan, in school district 69...
2003-12-28 03:12:01 PM  
Who cares. Not the music I listen to.
2003-12-28 03:20:41 PM  
earned a record $1.35 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2003

So much for mp3's sending everything associated with the music business under.
2003-12-28 03:20:57 PM  
This pisses me off. There is a lot of great music out there, but of course few people hear it because it is never on the radio, and the cds can't be found.
2003-12-28 03:24:14 PM  
These guys would be making the big bucks if they started stocking good stuff like the new Icy Hot Stuntaz CD. It would also give them some "street cred"...
I am going to go kick myself in the nuts now.
2003-12-28 03:25:28 PM  
That is why 3 Doors Down, Brian McKnight and other artists make special stops at Handleman's offices. It's not uncommon for employees to be treated to performances by the Goo Goo Dolls, or receive e-mails from the members of Brooks & Dunn.

What a nice "treat"
2003-12-28 03:26:03 PM  
How much you wanna bet they've got Kazaa or some other P2P service installed on all the desktops, the RIAA knows about it, and doesn't give a rat's ass?
2003-12-28 03:27:02 PM  
Good, now we know who to blame!
2003-12-28 03:31:34 PM  
[How much you wanna bet they've got Kazaa or some other P2P service installed on all the desktops, the RIAA knows about it, and doesn't give a rat's ass?]

It's an industry open secret that RIAA members have been using Kaaza and Morpheus to track what bands and CD tracks are the most popular on a month to month basis.

RIAA might be a bunch of greedy, self serving arrogant bastards but they're not entirely stupid.
2003-12-28 03:36:57 PM  
Ladies and gentlemen of Fark: Tired of corporate radio? Are you missing that sultry beat of 70's Disco and Soul? Are you yearning for the funk, and nothin' but the funk? Then you need to listen to my online radio station that runs out of my basement, at the following URL:

And if you HATE that kind of music, just go to and search for your type of tunes. You'll find it! Heck, you can start your own station, out of your own basement, and tell us all how to find it!

As a former radio DJ of 15 years I can sadly attest to the fact that Radio Sucks, permanently, and the only salvation currently is Internet Radio, MP3's, and independent artists.

I'd also like to plug (Portland, OR) as a great site for ordering music by independent artists. You can listen to samples of each album online before ordering. I've made some great discoveries there. They have great customer service, too.

Long live independent artists and DJ's!!!
2003-12-28 03:42:12 PM  
Todays music sucks so bad I just listen to the police scanner. Occasionally I will turn on the yuppie jazz station until a commercial comes on. Actually, it's mainly the commercials that suck.
2003-12-28 03:43:11 PM somehow 89% of the stores in the United States somehow manage to determine what to stock without this company? How do they manage?
2003-12-28 03:43:26 PM  
I stock the music and movies in a large retail store, (as mentioned in the Bon Jovi thread, and thank god it's not Wal-mart) and we do all of our own stocking. But, our stock select and presentation is all predetermined. Which sucks. Some things sit on shelves untouched. I have tried to feature local bands or bands coming to town, only to have my superiors take them down. So many unknown or low key bands and musicians out sell the corporate groups like 50 cent, britney spears, and stuff like puddle of mudd. And since I am in Nashville, the higher aboves think we must sell alot of country, but don't realize many of us in Nashville are generally are sick of country music.
2003-12-28 03:43:39 PM  
When Handleman talks, people listen.
Bonus points if you recognize the orignal source.
2003-12-28 03:44:43 PM  
Um.. they aren't deciding what you buy/listen to, they are trying to predict what you want to buy and getting it into the stores you visit.

The people deciding what you listen to are the ones that set up the radio play list.
2003-12-28 03:46:32 PM  
When I try (and fail) to shop in a music store or listen to the radio, I feel like I'm in Russia pre-glasnost at election time. Everybody's required to vote, no exception; you can vote for the candidate now, or you can vote for him later. That's your choice.
2003-12-28 03:48:51 PM  
Troy, MI is also home to a Hooters Restaurant. The directions? Get off I-75 at exit 69. The exit is labeled "Big Beaver Road."

Hooters, Big Beaver, and 69. That's my kind of place.

This is the truth.. I live in Chicago.. I just made a trip out to the Detroit area... While driving on 69 i saw a sign for BiG Beaver Road so I stopped to take a picture.. And I found a Hooters.
2003-12-28 03:50:45 PM  
having seen Cruxshadows live, I don't think that's a bad thing...
2003-12-28 03:52:37 PM  

Please. EF Hutton ads. Everyone knows that.
2003-12-28 03:53:57 PM  
We deal with these people extensively. Nothing special here, not even the perks. All I can say is that I am glad we still have independant audio buyers.
2003-12-28 04:00:16 PM  

You are a god. iTunes sadly didn't come with a good disco streaming site. Cheers, mate!
2003-12-28 04:10:43 PM  
BubbledragonNet: You're welcome, eh? (noticed you're from B.C.) There's lots of Disco at Live365, and quite a few with a higher bandwith (sadly) than mine. But at least you can get my station on a dial-up connection!

I was just in Surrey, B.C. for a Taekwondo tournament last month. I'm headed back in February. Any good dance music clubs I should check out?

/know nuthin' bout downtown Vancouver
2003-12-28 04:15:21 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2003-12-28 04:55:03 PM  
Troy, you say? Anger now be your song.
2003-12-28 04:58:41 PM  
Folderol - yes, but only you and I are at least old & wise enough to remember them! So don't be a condicending bastard and spoil it for all the young'ens.
2003-12-28 05:06:04 PM  
Perk to you = Ear torture to me.
2003-12-28 05:17:33 PM  
They also, until very recently, were the parent company of DVD house Anchor Bay.


So, in other words, they ain't all bad.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2003-12-28 05:51:38 PM  
Interesting. I was just discussing the music industry and big vs. small with a friend last night.

To summarize some of my points: the Internet has made small labels a lot more viable than they were, small labels still can't compete with the big guys, you need store exposure to make it big, and for all their bad taste and support for dull manufactured groups, the big guys still serve a useful purpose because the alternative is a terminally fragmented industry where few people can find the good music among the bad. (In the book business, 90% of all submissions are total crap that nobody would want to read. 90% of the rest are not reeking with awfulness but are not good either.)
2003-12-28 06:02:30 PM  
Handleman takes care of our music department at Zellers, and they do a horrible job. They send us shiat.
2003-12-28 06:18:58 PM  
I used to play hockey with a guy by the name of Ernie Phelps. He was (is?) a record promoter. Basically he would call up radio stations and ask them to play certain songs. Then he would send a bill to radio stations and the people that recorded the song. He made a lot of money and was kind of fun to hang out with. But he had the attention span of a gnat. Hmm... I gotta look him up again.
2003-12-28 06:20:40 PM  
No doubt about it.. I live in Omaha.. I just made a trip out to the Detroit area... While driving in a Hooters looking for a sign for BiG Beaver Road I stopped to take a picture.. And I saw a 69.
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