HMV is continuing its attempt to take on iTunes, now launching its online music store, HMV Digital, in Canada.
HMVdigital.ca offers millions of tracks for download in MP3 format, free of DRM and playable on any digital media player equipped with MP3 support. Because it’s a Canadian site, it’s available in English and French.
The cross-platform service is accessed via a Web browser, and – unlike iTunes – lets users download previously purchased tracks for free in the event a collection is lost or damaged.
The Official Charts Company (OCC) has launched a music subscription chart, which ranks the most played tracks by UK users of subscription services.
Data is based on that supplied by Napster, Omnifone (which operates the Music Station service, currently run through Vodafone), HMV and the Nokia Music Store.
Initially, the data will comprise a weekly Top 500 most-played tracks for industry use, with top-line market stats for each week. The data will be incorporated into the OCC’s definitive online database in 2009. The chart company will also add data from additional subs services as they launch in the UK. Continue reading →
As expected, the battle of (digital media) in Britain is kicking off this Christmas – and with labels seeking to develop an (ahem) ‘more competitive landscape’ for such music sales, then the sequence of events could benefit music fans.
News now is that the Amazon Music Store will be launching in the UK by next month, offering a catalogue of DRM-free tracks in MP3 format, and (presumably) given a series of attractive price cuts on content in order that the labels can beat up on their one time friend, Apple and its iTunes Store.
HMV will later this month launch its own iTunes competitor, an MP3 store and streaming music service, said CEO Simon Fox.
The download store will replace HMV’s existing store, which sells DRM-protected WMA files, the new store will offer music in the MP3 format, which appears to be at last being adopted by most major labels, including Universal. Continue reading →
HMV has developed a new tool for iTunes users that’s designed to help build music and film collections using HMV’s new social discovery site getcloser.com.
The ‘gap analyser’ tool lets users import their iTunes data in order to be given a host of music and film recommendation designed to fill the gaps in their collection. The tool uses HMV’s exhaustive archive of music and film releases to highlight gaps.
Gideon Lask, eCommerce Director for HMV said, “There has been a dramatic shift in the way in which people buy, store and play music and film meaning people’s collections are very broad due to the ability to have instant access to a variety of genres. However, there is a lack of access to the depth, detail and background knowledge needed for people to expand their collections in the way they would like to.” Continue reading →
Universal Music Group International chairman and chief executive, Lucian Grainge, doesn’t want to destroy Apple’s iTunes with the launch of the new Sky music service, and nor does he want every file-sharer knocked off the internet.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Grainge admitted file-sharing to be something that keeps him awake at night, saying, “The fact of the matter is it is illegal. Piracy is illegal. Peer to peer is [long pause] unfair.” Continue reading →
HMV has confirmed it will launch its own music and film ‘social discovery’ website – getcloser.com in the UK this autumn, preceeded by an open public beta testing period which begins in July..
GetCloser will invite music and film customers to share their interests with other members of the service offering users ways to find, rate, recommend and share different artists and films.
HMV plans to use its existing relationships to help add spice to its new social site, promising a “wealth of rich content”, this includes exclusive live footage of artist performances hosted by HMV stores. “Over time, the site will be enriched by content created and uploaded by users themselves,” the company says.
Additional features include a ‘connections-cloud’ function, which enables fans to create and surf connections based around their music and film collections and knowledge; and a special ‘ Collection Gaps’ function, which analyses a users’ collection to recommend titles and musical works they may also like (this sounds pretty similar to the technology Peter Gabriel and the Filter service are working on).
Users can import information about their iTunes libraries to a personalised home page. The service also offers ways to chat, send messages, join groups and create fan clubs.
Gideon Lask, HMV’s E-Commerce Director, said: “We want this to be the best, most popular music and film site for all fans and collectors everywhere. getcloser.com is not a social networking site, but it is all about discovery. We wanted to do something ground-breaking and different for music and film fans that is less about random socialising and networking, and more about them sharing their passion for their favourite artists, songs and movies.”