HMV’s multichannel focus is not enough

Like many of our high street names it’s good to see HMV has woken up to the need to position itself as a multichannel retailer ( HMVMultichannel) but as a latecomer to digital services, it really needs to go beyond its more advanced competitors by embracing an innovative approach.

Bundling physical with digital misses the point. Many consumers are now perfectly happy not to have physical media and people expect to have the flexibility to access their music or video content wherever they are, whenever they want, on whatever device they want. Making everyone a loyalty member might look good on paper, but genuine loyalty is achieved by delivering compelling, indispensable services, not by paying people to buy your products.

HMV will acknowledge that innovative companies like Apple and Spotify have stolen a march on it in recent years. Therefore, the opportunity lies in providing something better than iTunes.

Innovation might come from better ways of sharing media between people or devices, links with gigs and events, personalised recommendations, or second-screen experiences. HMV must give consumers a reason to choose its services over more trusted and valued brands, otherwise it will not be able to halt the decline.

Paul-Jervis Heath
Head of design
Head London


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