HMV has bought half of online music store 7digital, as the entertainment retailer looks to expand its digital services. The deal will see HMV buy a 50% stake from the venture capital firms that backed 7digital for £7.7m in cash. 7digital will now become HMV’s supplier for all of its digital operations, including a new e-books website for its Waterstone’s brand. HMV said 7digital also planned to launch a mobile application for BlackBerry mobiles soon. 7digtal’s clients include Spotify, Sony, Warner Music, EMI, Universal and Last.fm.
Ben Drury, founder and head of 7digital, said: “With consumer adoption of legal digital media now reaching the mass market, this joint venture partnership is great news for our customers and suppliers.”
7digital is forecast to make a pre-tax loss of about £1m for this year, HMV said. HMV also said like-for-like sales in the five countries it operates in fell 1.8% for the 18 weeks to 29 August. Like-for-like sales – which strip out the effects of store openings and closures – in the UK and the Irish Republic rose 1.7%.