HMV (LSE: HMV) will likely launch its forthcoming social network in beta form before Christmas, the entertainment retailer tells NMA. The network will let users “connect with like-minded fans” and get additional content relevant to their purchases. HMV is speaking with movie and music studios to acquire clips, full tracks and other info. Staff of HMV and design agency Cake will be first to jump on to the platform, due for a full launch next year, but a brand name for the site is still not settled.
Plagued by falling physical format-sales, HMV had a choice here. It could have gone out and embraced the networks young entertainment consumers are already using out there (MySpace, Bebo, Facebook et al) and extended in to that territory, spreading HMV-branded content, widgeted retail opportunities and hmv.com-bound links as it goes (ie. become Snocap). Or it could try and build its own, on-site network. It did the latter – the question is, will it be compelling enough for people to visit?