HMV stores close as music streaming sites grow
CanadaNews Feb 3, 2017 Joe Smith-Engelhardt
On Jan. 27 Canada lost one of its last retail music stores: HMV. The company had been bleeding money for years and owes its major suppliers, including music labels and media studios, $56 million as of Dec. 31. In an attempt to pay back some of their losses, the company are liquidating all of their merchandise until the 102 stores shut down on April 30.
While physical music sales have been dropping in recent years, streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music have been on the rise. In the last year alone, paid streaming service subscribers have doubled in the U.S.
The Recording Industry Association reported in 2016 that digital music sales gathered $2.6 billion or 77.5 percent of total music industry revenue, up from 72.1 percent in 2015.
The study also shows that physical copies of albums garnered $671.9 million or 19.6 percent of total revenue, a noticeable drop from 24.7 percent in 2015.
While sales of vinyl have risen in the last few years, the plummeting sales of CDs has led to physical sales representing a smaller and smaller fraction of overall revenue.
Many people weren’t surprised when HMV announced their closure given the rise in streaming services. Listen below for the full story: