I don’t normally report the music industry news on New Music Strategies. I have the Newswire for that – and there are other people who do it way better. I generally keep to ways in which independent musicians and music businesses can capitalise on the shifts in the music industries.
Here, I think, there’s sufficient overlap to justify it – and it’s very big news indeed.
You may have already heard that Entertainment UK, the single biggest supplier of all of the top DVD, music and game titles to each of the main High Street retailers in Britain is in administration. The fallout from this is, from a major retailer’s perspective, utterly catastrophic.
Directly affected, of course, are the company’s biggest retail clients: Woolworths (who share owners with Entertainment UK), WH Smith, Morrisons and Tesco. Collectively, those four command a lion’s share of the retail market for the biggest-selling hits in the entertainment field.
But add to that today’s announcement by Zavvi (formerly Virgin Megastore) that they will not be taking orders for any CDs, games or DVDs. We’re three weeks out from Christmas, and it seems that nobody can guarantee supply of Coldplay, Britney, Mamma Mia, Wall-E, GTA4 or Spore.
Together with the tight economic environment, the implication seems to be that the British public are in for a bit of hunt down the Long Tail for interesting and affordable Christmas gift ideas. Just a shame you can’t giftwrap an mp3.