HMV online to relaunch with focus on streaming

HMV is to relaunch online with a website that will focus on music and film streaming rather than selling physical CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays.

Under HMV's previous business model, the retailer lost money whenever it sold physical products online because of distribution and postage costs, reports Marketing Week.

HMV is likely to launch a service similar to The Vault, a digital streaming platform offered by its sister company in Canada.

The Vault has been running on HMV Canada's website since the turn of the year and currently has a catalogue of more than 13 million tracks.

The music firm looks set to bring a version of The Vault to the UK as part of Hilco’s plan to revive the struggling retailer.

HMV still owns 140 high street stores after a number were sold off during the administration process, which was run by Hilco, the owners of HMV Canada. The deal, thought to be worth £50 million, secure some 2,643 jobs.

President of HMV Canada, Nick Williams, says: “We know that the more than 35 million consumers who come through our stores each year count on us to enhance their music experience and The Vault is a clear indicator of our ability to do that.”

The streaming subscription service costs, translated from Canadian dollars, would translate to around £3 for monthly computer access or £6.50 for computer and mobile access. This would give users streaming access to over 13 million songs. In light of prices for the likes of Rdio and Spotify, it's most likely to be closer to £5/£10.

HMW is also aiming to give its users the opportunity to stream films, with a movie library expected to be launched later this year.

MORE: HMV collapse as it happened

Written by Christopher Smith

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).