HMV spins out an all-format-compatible new site

The music retailer is launching a new site featuring 'millions' of tracks in MP3 format, expanding its reach into the digital realm, and will also be open to brand mash-ups.

As one of the biggest brick-and-mortar music retailers in Canada, HMV is finally expanding into the digital realm with, offering ‘millions’ of tracks in MP3 format.

Launched this week, the beta version of the site features high-quality tracks in digital rights management-free formats that are compatible with all digital music players, all elements that HMV thought were critical to secure before they felt comfortable launching a digital site, Saundra Bianchi, director of marketing, HMV Canada, told MiC.

Promotion surrounding the site will first focus on in-store initiatives across the company’s 131 Canadian locations, Bianchi says, offering first-time customers to the site a ‘buy 10 tracks, get 10 tracks free’ option. The offer will be promoted on the site, on, on in-store receipts and soon through an online advertising media buy. And as of Nov. 15, ‘Download at’ messaging will be integrated into the holiday campaign media buy that includes radio, outdoor, cinema, print and online through Dec. 24.

Currently there are no advertising opportunities on the site, but as it moves past its beta testing phase, they will become available, Bianchi says.

‘Absolutely,’ she confirms. ‘We are exploring future opportunities and affiliations that will target the music enthusiast. However, the focus at the present time, with the launch of the beta phase of HMVdigital, is 100% on addressing the needs of our digital store consumer.’