Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The End for HMV?

The golden age for HMV
His Masters Voice, a gem in the crown of the music market, has gone to the administrators. But with this, I'm struggling to really see why no-one has quite put their finger on the cause of death yet.

It may look like a simple "economic crisis" failure, another Woolworths (sob!), but I've always been a little worried for HMV. Shopping there, in recent years, has caused more of a grimace than a grin - the high prices sometimes took the shine off the excitement of buying new releases. Why not wait an extra three days and order it on Amazon instead?

This, combined with their inability to take to online sales (I questioned myself today, with wind of the news - "Do they even sell music online?"), has made them the Neanderthal in the face of Homo-Sapiens Amazon and iTunes. And like Everything Everything so rightly pointed out on the Channel 4 news tonight (please note my pleasant surprise at how well they did alongside Jon Snow), HMV spread itself too thinly across the market, branching out into films, games, tickets, merchandise, sound systems...

The one thing I'm desperately, desperately praying about now is the survival of Waterstones, a member of the HMV group. I don't know if I could handle another great british institution closing down, let alone a guardian of books.


  1. I bought my first ever single at HMV, c.2002 I think. It's a shame, but as you quite rightly point out, they attempted to cash in on too diverse a market.

    If they had stuck to tunes, remained a specialised music outlet, they might have survived as the only genuine high-street CD seller.

    1. You're right. Their unique selling point was the "mystery" behind the album art or band name - not quite knowing what you were getting, and the excitement of that. You don't get that with online sales anymore. Bandcamp is probably the closest thing to that now.

    2. I love a record shop. Unfortunately a lack of disposable income means I'm browsing, not buying.

      Would I feel bad, cashing in on the HMV closing down sale? Probably. Although I'm the first to hold my hand up, iTunes is my digital playground, nowadays, my direct route to music new and old.

      Bandcamp is excellent but I confess I heard of it only a few weeks ago. It needs more exposure - even the most hardy and dedicated of my Music loving friends are in the dark.

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  3. so sad- but at least you can mabs get a few bargains in the last sale :/ anddd think kindles and ebooks are pretty bad news for places like waterstones ): cuteee blog!