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HMV makes m-commerce leap

21 October 2013 - 11:06 by Paul Tissington

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HMV has gone through some tough times in recent years, with well publicised financial issues resulting from its stagnation on the high street. But it has managed to come back from the brink this year and is now pushing into the m-commerce market with a new digital download service available for iOS and Android smartphones.

HMV originally rose to prominence by selling music in physical formats and now it is hoping that by offering digital tracks via safe shopping online, it will be in a good position to thrive in the future.

British consumers are using their mobile handsets to shop for products across all categories in greater numbers than ever before, so riding the m-commerce wave is a good way for retailers like HMV to return to profitability.

HMV's new music m-commerce app lets users search for tunes by name, or browse extensive charts and playlists, to find out about the latest tracks from popular and up and coming artists.

Songs that are purchased via safe shopping online can then be downloaded directly to the owner's smartphone.

The app also features the Shazam-like ability to detect the name of a track and the artist responsible for it when you are out and about, by listening to the song and carrying out a search.

Users are able to harness their phone's camera to snap pictures of album art and let the app automatically take them to the digital version of the LP, which is available to buy online.

This combines in-store browsing with online shopping, which is something that HMV needs to embrace.

The app's catalogue of songs comes from established distribution service, 7digital, so HMV is not creating its own solution, which is a good thing. Of course, with iTunes already entrenched and Spotify making streaming more popular, there might not actually be room for this newcomer in the m-commerce market.