Avalanche and HMV

A lot could be said but today the best use of my time is to do my accounts. In “the old days” HMV would sell lots of Amy Winehouse and Adele and Coldplay and Rihanna etc, Avalanche would sell lots of the smaller indie stuff and local bands and we would compete on the big indie releases. Bands we had supported would be become bigger and we would lose them to HMV and we’d look for the next band to replace them. It is a system that worked well for a very long time. Then along came the internet and online selling. If the comparison had simply been between the more personal experience of going into a shop and buying online then we would have all had to take our chances. However all the biggest online players were based offshore and didn’t pay VAT giving them a very clear and unfair advantage. The ending of that advantage in April has clearly come too late.

Latterly most bands. labels and record companies have set themselves up in direct competition with shops while still looking for support for their releases. This runs from the Universal shop selling exclusive vinyl to the smallest band on bandcamp offering an exclusive bundle. There is no right and wrong here clearly just the obvious statement that from a shop’s viewpoint this is an unsustainable position to be put in. Especially for smaller bands who exist in quite a small enclosed world what shops offer is a gateway to a far bigger audience. That gateway of course has a huge cost in rent, rates etc. While HMV continues to move in one direction Avalanche will start to move in another. I wish them luck as we go our different ways. As for devaluing music by selling CDs for £3 that is a different discussion for a different day.

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