We were rather pleased here at the Two Moors Festival to hear that HMV – which went into administration at the start of this year – will be returning to its original home on Oxford Street in London, although not to its flagship store but to a smaller premises down the street.
Originally opened in 1921 by none other than Sir Edward Elgar, the chain struggled in recent years against the onslaught of digital technology and the internet, with music fans preferring to download tracks and CDs rather than head off to a bricks and mortar shop to buy them.
And is this really all that surprising? Downloading music can be much more convenient, you can pick and choose your tracks rather than having to invest in an entire record and a hard drive of tunes takes up a LOT less space than endless plastic CD cases (trust us – we get sent a lot of CDs by aspiring musicians and it can be particularly tricky finding places to put them all) – and let’s face it, CDs don’t exactly have the same ‘collector’s item’ status that old school vinyl does. For one thing, they get damaged too easily.
So how will HMV look to survive in an increasingly digital world? The company was woefully slow in recognising the shift in consumer attitudes and failed to respond accordingly – much like Blockbuster in the face of Lovefilm, Netflix et al – but since it intends to relaunch its website later this year (and sales have reportedly seen a significant rise since the middle of May) we can only assume they have big plans afoot. We’re thinking some kind of business expansion – lots more book and CD signings, and a lot more live gigs in-store across all music genres. What do you think they should do?
How do you buy your music? Digital or hard copy?
- Four HMV stores to reopen creating 100 jobs (irishtimes.com)
- HMV’s History (ckfchanjk2.wordpress.com)
- HMV may be gone but the music industry still has a lot left to give (ninelivesuk.wordpress.com)