HMV re-entered the digital entertainment industry since going into administration earlier this year. Their new app is the first non iTunes based service on the IOS platform and will be going head-to-head against what is already an a highly monopolised micro-market.
The app will integrate with iTunes (as well as Android phones), meaning the purchases made on the app will go directly on to the users iPhone. Its features will provide consumers the opportunity to ‘image search’ CD album covers with their phone and access track previews. Additionally the ‘sound search’ feature means they will have the ability to discover the details of the music that is playing – similar to shazam.
Managing Director of HMV Digital, James Coughlan says; "For the first time, music lovers have the ability to experience the traditional feel of HMV on the high street and have the option to discover and build a digital music collection, delivered and managed across devices, from HMV”. Along with the app, HMV have announced that they plan to launch ‘further developments’ in the new year. Paul McGowan, CEO of HMV has said that he hopes these measures will “start the journey towards enhancing the experience of interacting with the entertainment industry”. The new app launched this Saturday during The X Factor commercial breaks.
While it’s difficult to judge the success of the app before using it, HMV are entering into a market place where Apple has an extremely strong foothold. Unless the app can offer something genuinely innovative and different to what iTunes currently provides, it might prove difficult for them to compete. Apple’s iTunes have already created a formality in the digital downloading and have even helped fight off pirate downloads by creating a platform with restrictions to outside downloads. The simplicity behind iTunes and its status as an application makes it difficult for anyone else to breakthrough on the iOS software. On the other hand, the andriod market is still significant enough for a new app to take centre stage.