The new website replaces a temporary site that has been in place since the company, which launched a new identity by The Council last week was acquired from its Administrators by Hilco Capital in April.
The site takes an editorially-led approach, aiming to replicate the access to specialist and knowledgeable members of staff shoppers can find in physical HMV stores.
Code ComputerLove, which had worked with HMV on a series of digital projects from around 2002 until 2008, approached HMV earlier this year to discuss the potential to work with the brand again since its acquisition by Hilco Capital.
Steve Peters, Code ComputerLove account director, says, ‘With the advent of things like Play.com, downloads and streaming music [since we’d last worked with HMV] you have to do something a bit different to be relevant. With HMV you’ve got a lot of really well-loved retail environments, so we wanted to involve the store in the website.
‘Of course we offer download services, and everybody else does that – but HMV has brand heritage and value that’s unprecedented. There are very clever, switched on specialists in the stores, so we had to bring that to the site’.
The new website uses blog content in a ‘pseudo-social look’, says Peters, looking to ‘join the dots between retail and store, and digital download’.
Content including reviews, features and ‘staff picks’ pieces is curated by a newly recruited editorial team with contributions from staff across the company’s chain of 142 UK stores.
The site will also feature footage, interviews and backstage photographs from events such as gigs and HMV in store shows and signings.
Site visitors can share this content through social media, meaning that over time the sire will become personalised depending on the users’ tastes and purchases.
The ‘mobile first’ site is integrated with the new HMV digital download store, which also offers 30-second track previews. Tracks and albums can be downloaded across all platforms, including Mac, PC, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone.
Code ComputerLove says this is the first stage of its work with HMV to launch, with further propositions on the way following feedback on the user experience of the new site.
The new site will be rolled out to HMV Canada and HMV Ireland in early 2014 and each will have their own local content as well as the internationally-generated content.