Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Thursday, January 06, 2011


HMV is struggling. Again. HMV struggles more than a straitjacketed swimmer, but despite the inevitability of it's demise it refuses to just give up and let the business drown, which either demonstrates a stunning commitment to selling music or the sort of business acumen which would have Evan Davis laughing you off the show before you even got a chance to enter the Dragon's Den. HMV are specifically struggling this time around as millions of people eschewed buying their loved ones a DVD for Christmas this year, preferring instead to buy something that actually had some thought put into it, and as a direct result will be closing down 40 branches across the country in a bid to keep it's head above the water just long enough to lurch to whatever the next crisis happens to be. Despite this, it's unlikely these closures will have a major effect on the music industry, as it's business model is now based entirely on selling Take That albums and as long as their are supermarkets to stock those, they'll carry on regardless.

Part of the problem is that people simply don't buy CDs any more, and are reluctant to waste a tenner on a piece of plastic which may, in all likelihood, contain 45 minutes of music by JLS. As this is 42 JLS packed minutes more than anyone could legitimately want, it's unsurprising that people aren't willing to take that risk, preferring instead to download their tunes from various sites with differing attitudes towards legality, judging that the possibility of getting their laptop infected by a virus is preferable to unintentionally paying good money for The Club is Alive.

So what can HMV do to counteract this trend and avoid going to the great High Street in the sky, ending up as anachronistic a concept as coal deliveries and casual racism? Bugger all. Which may not be the most constructive advice, but is at least a lot cheaper than the teams of management consultants who seem to believe that getting the stores to sell some crappy band t-shirts and poor quality own brand electronics is the key to the company's successful future. Sometimes, no matter how much you might love it, it's time to put the sick old dog down. Bye, Nipper. You won't feel a thing...