High street music and entertainment retailer HMV is talking to a number of agencies to design, build and market its social networking site to be rolled out later this year.
HMV chief executive officer Simon Fox announced plans for the social networking site earlier this year as part of the retailer’s strategic business review in March.
It was initially reported that an agency would be appointed to handle the brief, but an HMV spokesman confirms the entertainment chain is in “talks with a number of agencies with a range of disciplines” to help build and then promote the site.
It is understood that some smaller digital agencies have pulled out of talks as the proposed task had proved too big for them to handle.
The social networking site is expected to be a core part of HMV’s future digital offering.
Observers say that such a portal would be a perfect fit for the brand as it ties in consumer interaction engendered by the music, gaming and entertainment markets that have made the social networking phenomenon so successful to date.
HMV has put digital at the heart of its operations and says it aims its HMV.co.uk portal will account for 20% of HMV UK sales by 2010.
The HMV networking site will cover music, film and games, offering revenue streams from advertising, sponsorship and paid-for content.
It has already secured strategic content partnerships with media giants Universal Music and 20th Century Fox.