As digital tracks continue to downsize the sale of compact discs nationwide, Dave Benton says that MadCity Music Exchange is hanging in there.
"Our sales are pretty much the same as they have been for a number of years now," he says. "There was a general industry slump in the mid-'90s, and we felt it then, but it's been fairly consistent ever since."
Still, things are changing. As its name implies, MadCity Music Exchange was once primarily identified with used CDs. But in 2006, the sale of new CDs at Benton's record store exceeds the sale of used.
Benton says his average customer is older now than in years past - a trend fueled by college students turning away from CDs in favor of MP3s.
"Our share of vinyl is also bigger now than it was 10 years ago," says Benton, "and our margin on vinyl is a little better."
MadCity Music Exchange has resided in the Gateway Mall at 600 Williamson St. since 1989. Before that, the store was located on Regent Street near Camp Randall Stadium. Benton is a Madison music-scene veteran who was a member of Spooner with Butch Vig and Doug Erikson in the 1980s.
Benton reveals the secret of the store's survival:
"We're fortunate that we're in Madison," he says. "We simply could not survive without a customer base that is musically curious."
MadCity attracts the musically curious.