His Master's Voice Silenced.

Film RIP HMV, again. The entertainment chain has once again called in the receivers after it was saved in 2013 despite my own gloomy assessment.  But this feels even more existential, especially since the causes have become even more acute in the past five years.  As the BBC's RCJ notes, whereas the 2013 troubles were blamed on downloads, we now live in a streaming age.

Anecdotally, the majority of casuals stream their films legally and otherwise, usually through a pay monthly service or through a celestial rental service like Amazon Video.  Most people simply can't justify paying ten to fifteen pounds for a film they're only like to watch once or twice, so even if it isn't on Netflix, they rent a stream for roughly the same cost as something at Blockbuster.

Similarly, as I predicted a decade ago as soon as I saw began using the service, Spotify et al and download has pretty much killed the physical media market.  People in general don't use portable cd players any more.  Even when we are given a cd for Christmas, our first instinct is to rip it to mp3s assuming we even bother and don't just simply go to Spotify anyway.

On top of that, even those of us who do still want shiny discs are probably going straight to Amazon, which is cheaper than HMV especially if you take into account second hand purchases through secondary sellers, more convenient especially if you have prime and although it can't really replacing browsing in stores, HMV isn't really the back catalogue heaven it once was.

As soon as the HMV in Liverpool moved from its flagship space to a smaller shop on the balcony in Liverpool One, this seemed inevitable.  Assuming it isn't saved, there won't now be a specialist chain record shop on the high street that sells film and music.  Andy's Records, Our Price, Tower Records, Virgin Megastores, Zavvi, Head and now HMV and Fopp (probably) all gone.  RIP.

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