HMV looking at closing stores in Canada as music sales appear to be capital-D doomed

HMV looking at closing stores in Canada as music sales appear to be capital-D doomed

His master's void: profit gaps responsible for possible closures (Image: bm.iphone) 

This manages to be even less surprising than the Blockbuster bankruptcy filing in the United States: according to The Daily Brew, HMV may be looking at closing some—or even all—of its Canadian stores. As sales of CDs and DVDs stumble, HMV’s search for other options hasn’t paid off:

The closures will likely be announced before an April test of its borrowing rules, which are expected to be tight. And, while the HMV Group will apparently seek to end its leases in shopping malls across Canada, an imminent exit altogether isn’t seen as likely.

HMV introduced a “store of the future” format three years ago, which was designed to make locations more browsing-friendly with an enhanced selection of books, electronics and video games. Computer hubs were also set up in some locations to encourage social networking, online research and on-the-spot downloading.

The problem for stores like HMV—and other music retailers—is that the music industry may be even more doomed than we already thought. The good people at Business Insider look at the last 30 years of data from the recording industry, and when the data is crunched, some troubling facts (and hilarious graphs) come out.

  • When adjusted for inflation, the music industry is making less money than any time since the CD was introduced.
  • When adjusted for inflation and population, revenues are lower than any time since 1973.
  • People are spending about one-third as much on recorded music today as they did 10 years ago.

And there’s good reason to think all of these trends are going to get worse, not better. Basically, the music industry relies (or, perhaps, relied) on full-length album sales, and while iTunes has opened up some new money, it’s largely helped revive the single. The download hub hasn’t helped (and may have harmed) album sales.

HMV won’t be the first retailer to fold (remember Sam’s? Music World? A&A?), and with numbers like that, it probably won’t be the last.

HMV considers closing Canadian stores this spring due to shrinking sales [Daily Brew]
• The REAL Death Of The Music Industry [Business Insider]