HMV is looking to explore social networking to boost digital revenues.
Its digital downloads store / business has been going for ages, but it looks like more is planned.
But will social networking work as a new channel for HMV? I’d be surprised if something branded is launched. Anything that remotely smells of a commerical exercise will turn off users, so will any obvious or overbearing content dedicated to partnerships or advertising (HMV’s said to have set up content partnerships with Universal Music and 20th Century Fox).
Video gaming and music are staple themes for online communities, but will a commercial entity with an obvious interest in selling its wares really be able to develop a community? The blogosphere has well documented the challenge now facing MySpace and YouTube in monetising user generated content.
That said, I can’t wait to see how it’s pitched. Will it be HMV branded or a standalone entity which avoids tainting its appeal with overly commercial content?