Unsigned: HMV’s closing is the end of an era for the music industry

Last Friday, HMV announced that they are closing their Canadian doors for good. As the last major chain music store in Canada, this represents the end of an era.

A lot of people have had the rhetoric of “it’s about time,” or “it’s a long time coming.” These people are missing the humanity in the situation.

Many people just lost their jobs — people who have known nothing but HMV their entire lives, people with children, people trying to put themselves through university.

The internet downloading age has become our only option now.

It’s not that the online music industry is any better or worse; it’s that now the alternative has been completely eliminated.

People used HMV as a social gathering. It was an outing for some and they bonded over musical preferences. People bought albums that were recommended to them from a real person, not an algorithm.

There is an emotional affect in real life conversation and that’s no longer an option.

What about the classic hardcover books vs. e-books debate? Why don’t people treat their music the same way?

When you look at it closely, certain groups of people no longer have easy access to music because of the HMV closure.

Take elderly people, for example. Grandma may not be listening to the latest Drake album, but this shift to downloading music is going to affect how — if ever — she’ll be able to get a copy of the music she enjoys.

There’s no more adventure of the new find. If you want a CD, DVD, or vinyl now, you’ll have to special order it or hope to find it in a big-box or second-hand store.

It’s not the day the music died, but now it seems pretty close.

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