The first thing to say about all the ‘bye bye HMV’ talk that’s flying around is: hang on, it’s not dead yet. The company has gone into administration – which admittedly is not the best position for a retailer to be in – but could still find a buyer. It might continue to exist, just in diminished form. Even if it ends up as just a bloke who approaches you in a pub with some Now compilations in his jacket pockets, let’s not pen its eulogy just yet.
The second important thing is to shush all the pundits who keep saying that digital downloading is the cause of HMV’s woes. Not true. As of 2012, digital is the dominant music sector in the UK, but only just. £70m-worth of physical music is sold each year. An awful lot of people still buy CDs. The trouble is, they buy them on Amazon, not the high street. You can get worked up about this, but it won’t do any good. Waterstones boss James Daunt calls Amazon company a “ruthless, money-making devil.” They’re not evil (though their tax arrangements don’t exactly help). They just offer a more convenient way to buy CDs and DVDs. What can you do?
By Luke Lewis
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