Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Tesco’s takes on iTunes with new download service

This week’s announcement by supermarket giant Tesco of a further move into music retailing provides yet another reason to hope for the continued existence of local independent record stores. On the back of £2.8 billion (€3.5 billion) profits for the …

Fri, Apr 18, 2008, 07:50

   

This week’s announcement by supermarket giant Tesco of a further move into music retailing provides yet another reason to hope for the continued existence of local independent record stores.

On the back of £2.8 billion (€3.5 billion) profits for the past year, Tesco revealed plans to revamp their current music download offering and to position it as yet aother challenger to Apple’s iTunes.

Tesco Digital will relaunch in May and aims to have more than 3.3 million songs available for download as MP3s by the end of the year. This is in contast to its current download store ( www.tescodownloads.com ), where songs are available in Windows Media format only.

It’s a further sign of Tesco’s intentions to increase its revenues by moving away from traditional food and clothing lines. According to the company’s latest figures, sales of such items as CDs, DVDs, books and electronics rose by nine per cent last year. Naturally, the move into music downloads will be followed by film and TV show downloads in time.

One sector which has suffered significantly from the move by Tesco and other supermarket chains into music retailing is the traditional record store.

There have been wholesale changes here in the past few years, with the disappearance of such once- significant players as Tower in the US and Virgin in the UK and Ireland.

There has also been a huge reduction in the number of independent stores, with many outlets now flogging mobile phones and DVDs where once they sold CDs and vinyl.

But independent stores are still in business, and tomorrow’s worldwide Record Store Day is a worldwide event endorsed by many big names in an attempt to re-focus attention on the local record shop.

While many bigger shops have been squeezed out, there are still many independent stores worldwide which continue to provide the kind of service, knowledge and enthusiasm about music which you won’t find in your local Tesco.

And there are still dozens of Irish indies up and down the country worth supporting tomorrow – and every week – when it comes to buying music.

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