*For Indonesian version please click here
Aquarius Pondok Indah, one of the biggest record stores in Indonesia and located in the South of Jakarta, will soon be closed. The shop, first opened in 1995, has simply run out of business. Mid-August saw them start selling tens of thousands of items in their collection with a massive discount. A few months before that, in February, Aquarius Surabaya, after operating for 7 years, went bankrupt and Aquarius Dago, which used to be one of the coolest hangout spots for kids who lived in Bandung, was shut down in December 2009 after 19 years of guts and glory.
Disc Tarra, another national record retail chain, consisting of 78 stores to be precise, is apparently in a similar situation and although they haven’t closed any of their stores yet, some in significant cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Denpasar, have been resized, some down to 50% smaller. This phenomenon, most people believe, is caused by the digital trend. MP3s and iPods took over the world. They are more popular than cassettes or cds and walkmans or tape recorders, and piracy is exacerbating the problem. Even the gigantic-size record stores like Virgin have lost the add-on “Megastore” in their title, switching now to become Virgin Store only. HMV, idem ditto, they get tinier. Not to mention Tower Records, once considered a major influential music institution in their heyday, called it a day in 2006.
With the many DVD and CD shops that line many of Indonesia’s streets, the Indonesian government must come up with a strategy to put a stop to piracy and illegal copies. If they fail to do this, the countdown to music armageddon will continue…