Major record labels are determined to see massive UK retailer HMV survive its current, admittedly dire financial predicament. The company last week hired an accountancy firm to assess the best way of selling off its assets — which include 239 physical stores. But powerful players in the music industry (including Universal Music, Warner Music, and Sony) are reportedly willing to offer potential buyers substantial credit incentives and discounted CDs / DVDs if it means keeping HMV in business on the UK high streets.
Why the sudden generosity? HMV's demise would be yet another unwelcome blow to industry profits: the collapse of another storied retailer would further shift music and video sales to the internet, a world of cutthroat competition where Amazon and Apple dominate mindshare thanks to basement-level pricing. Those prices prove popular with shoppers, but less so with labels and studios that still long for the days when consumers swarmed brick-and-mortar CD shops. There are reportedly over 50 suitors vying to take over HMV, so it seems all hope isn't lost just yet.