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HMV Splits Digital, Physical Retail Across Two Sites

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Here’s the first outcome of HMV’s part-acquisition of 7digital —, a new online store for digital music.

Curiously, the upshot is the separation of HMV’s digital music retail from the existing site, where HMV (LSE: HMV) used to sell digital music and where it will continue to sell other digital content and mail-order entertainment.

The site was built by 7digital, which HMV bought half of for £7.7 million last year, but is wholly owned by HMV.

Despite 7digital’s strong position in facilitating music downloads for a range of stores, it so far only retails music and audiobooks – hence, hmvdigital is solely a digital music store, other media is left back over at

Why has HMV gone for the split? Spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo tells paidContent:UK: “We wanted to give it a standalone URL at hmvdigital rather than have it built into for a number of reasons…

To support the idea of hmvdigital as a brand in its own right; to remove some of the pressure on having to host a digital store within its own overall offer; and to create a separate platform that we can keep building on through 7digital as and when we choose to – this would be more problematic if we wanted to upgrade the platform within”

Previously,’s digital music downloads were powered by MediaNet/MusicNet.

This effectively means the first outcome of the part-acquisition is just the same kind of white label downloads store 7digital already builds for vendors likes

Reporting earnings in June, HMV said: “Opportunities to create real value in digital are scarce for all involved, not least because of widespread competition from the free illegal market.

One Response to “HMV Splits Digital, Physical Retail Across Two Sites”

  1. James Caan

    I think the idea in a year or two HMV plan to close all the retail stores so having HMVdigital seperate makes sense as will be the retail arm when all the shops close down. We believe the retail shops only have a 2/3 life left and rapid closure will follow.