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HMV buys 3.5digital

By | Published on Thursday 3 September 2009

HMV has bought a 50% stake in independent download store 7digital for £7.7 million. Shame they weren’t called 9Digital, they could have made an extra £2.2 million. Because that’s how these things work, I think.

The high street entertainment seller, which has been very busy diversifying its operations in the last year, has bought shares in 7digital off the download firm’s venture capital backers. The deal will see 7digital power all of the HMV Group’s digital operations, including a planned new e-book website for HMV’s book chain Waterstones, which is interesting, if only because e-books seem like the might finally be about to take off.

Confirming the deal, HMV top dog Si Fox, told reporters: “7digital are a specialist digital company which we are not. They bring expertise and technology which up until now we simply haven’t had, and it gives us a serious seat around the digital table. It gives us access not only to improving our own digital offer, but really to benefit from the growth that they’re enjoying through their relationships with other people such as Spotify and Blackberry”.

7digital top cat Ben Drury added: “With consumer adoption of legal digital media now reaching the mass market, this joint venture partnership is great news for our customers and suppliers”.

So that’s all loverly. As previously reported, HMV entered the live music space at the start of the year through a JV with the MAMA Group involving the Mean Fiddler venue network, and has been dabbling in the in-store cinema space through a partnership with Curzon Artificial Eye.