Just say no, HMV tells musicians

The recording industry likes to include the decline of the traditional music retailers in their statistics of the alleged harm from unauthorized music filesharing. The reality is that it is the ongoing transition to downloads (#1 Apple's iTunes, #2 eMusic) and big-box stores (#1 Wal-Mart, #2 Best Buy) that is the major influence.

A Canadian Press article says that, "HMV bought a full-page ad in the music magazine Billboard to laud superstar acts for refusing to go along with similar arrangements in Canada and asks that musicians refuse any distribution offers that would cut out traditional retailers."

According to a Business Wire release from The NPD Group, the "five leading music retailers in the U.S. for the first half of 2008 (January through June, based on purchases of CDs and a-la-carte digital music downloads) ranked as follows:

  1. iTunes
  2. Wal-Mart (Walmart, Walmart.com, Walmart Music Downloads)
  3. Best Buy (Best Buy, Bestbuy.com, Best Buy Digital Music Store)
  4. Amazon (Amazon.com, AmazonMP3.com)
  5. Target (Target and Target.com)

NPD doesn't track music purchased under subscription from services like eMusic, or subscription revenues from Rhapsody and Napster.

If anyone has numbers from Canada, that would be very interesting. Not all of the online music retail services available to people in the USA are available in Canada, as there are different licensing arrangements that need to be negotiated.