The well known high street music store has launched a website that sells Top 40 music tracks at 40p as part of its strategy to move from high street retailer to a wider entertainment brand. First opening in 1921, the British entertainment retail chain is now the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom and Canada. ITunes accounts for 70% of worldwide online digital music sales, making the service the largest legal music retailer. But is this all set to change?
To date, if the IPod, MP3 and download junkie wants to have the latest tunes blasting through their headphones, ITunes has been the place to go for secure, safe music downloads. From Top 40 to 80s classics, podcasts to movies, Monday night's Eastenders to Katie Price’s latest biography – ITunes has one of the largest download directories available.
HMV Digital, operating from its new standalone site has a catalogue of 10 million tracks. In addition to the Top 40 singles, chart albums start from £4.99, placing the offering in direct competition to Apple's established download service. HMV is also offering an introductory offer of five tracks free on a first-come first-serve basis.
A feature of HMV Digital, which is currently unavailable on ITunes, is the ability to re-download tracks if a hard-drive is lost or broken. It has a download manager that enables users to sync purchases with their iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries.
HMV may be the biggest entertainment high street retailer, and its new site is offering more to the download generation. Its competitive pricing may switch some of the more savvy users but will it really impact ITunes sales… Is HMV really powerful enough to take on the mighty Apple?
Photo credit: hmvdigital.com