Is There Still A Demand For Discs?
The recent collapse of HMV & Blockbuster seems to have reopened a wider debate about the current and future demand for the physical ownership of music. HMV’s collapse has been blamed partly on the shift to digital music ownership and partly on the rise of online shopping from retailers like Amazon. It came out today that some in the business world still see a future in the HMV model and feel that there’s still a strong demand for the physical ownership of entertainment products such as Cd’s, Dvd’s and Games. Is this really the case and is HMV worth saving in its current form?
Will They Ever Learn?
I can see why some might feel there is a future in the physical ownership of entertainment products but I also feel they’re a little behind the curve and are even clutching at straws. While the physical ownership of music may have died a slow digital death, the demand for physical copies of DVD’s, Blu-Ray’s & Games is still strong, so you might say there’s life in the old dog yet. But will companies like HMV ever learn? The whole reason stores like HMV are in such a mess is because they insisted that people still wanted to own physical copies of CD’s. They ignored the rise of download sales and felt that people would still be gripped by the nostalgia of CD ownership. They were wrong! It now seems they’re making the same misjudgement when it comes to film & game ownership.
The physical ownership of movies and games only remains strong because technology has only recently become a viable proposition in its mainstream digital capability. In the time when people were still arguing that CD’s had a retail future, downloads were still relatively slow and people were still making the migration over to devices that would make this new digital media a part of everyday life. My question is will they make the same mistake again?
Technology is developing and spreading to such a point that it will inevitably make online streaming or downloading the normality for both movies & games. The argument may still remain that people want to own the physical product but recent history would suggest otherwise.
So is HMV Worth Saving?
I’m not saying that the HMV brand doesn’t have something to offer but in its current high street form I really don’t see the point in trying to rescue it. The high street is dying before our eyes and the world of entertainment is making its final digital transition. In fact I find it quite worrying that some prominent business people still argue otherwise. The physical ownership of music, movies & games will soon become a niche market, surely it’s time to accept it and move on.