HMV – a byword for music retailing in the UK. Unfortunately, the digital age has been less-than-kind to the company, with recent pre-tax profits down a whopping 73 per cent. So what should an ailing record shop do? Chase the digital market with a bit more conviction, that’s what.
In fact, HMV is playing the DRM-free card, initially with the same supplier as Apple (and also 7Digital) – EMI. The selling point here is an increased 328Kbps bit-rate (compared to Apple’s 256kbps) and a lower price of 79p (Apple charge £1.29).
It will take more than a few EMI tunes to turn round a big profit slide – and most of the company’s downloads are still DRM tunes, but at least it’s shifting slightly towards modern-day music reality.