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  1. #1
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Jan 2003

    Question What's YOUR opinion?

    I don't know if The Rolling Stones did this in the US, but in Canada the Four Flicks DVD was only available from Best Buy and Future Shop (who is owned by Best Buy). Other Canadian retailers were upset at that they did not have access to sell this item. HMV, who is one of the largest retailers of CDs and DVDs in Canada, chose to show their disapproval by pulling ALL Rolling Stone merchandise from their stores. Today, I received the following customer survey from them and am curious, what do you all think about this? Do bands have the right to choose who is allowed to distribute their wares? Do consumers have the right to decide for themselves where they want to purchase items? Here is the survey....

    On November 11, 2003 the Rolling Stones released their Four Flicks DVD in Canada on an exclusive distribution basis, limiting availability of the Four Flicks DVD to only one retailer, thereby excluding HMV and all other retailers from making this product available to their consumers.

    HMV strongly objected to this exclusive Rolling Stones distribution arrangement stating that HMV believed that Canadian consumers deserved the option of purchasing major artist new release music and DVD product from the retailer of their choice.

    HMV responded by indicating that if its consumers were not good enough to have access to the Rolling Stones new product in HMV stores, then the Rolling Stones were not worthy of having ANY of its products in HMV’s stores. HMV immediately removed all Rolling Stones product from its stores, and as of today’s date, no Rolling Stones product is available for sale in any of the 100 HMV stores across Canada.

    1. Do you believe that by removing all Rolling Stones products from its stores that HMV Canada has effectively sent the message to the Rolling Stones that their ‘exclusive retail distribution’ of the Four Flicks DVD was unfair to consumers? Yes or No.

    2. Do you believe that as a ‘demonstration of good faith’ to the Rolling Stones that HMV should now consider restocking Rolling Stones products in its Canadian stores? Yes or No.

    My personal opinion is that the manufacturer (in this case, the band) has the right to determine where and how their merchandise should be sold. If the Stones had made this exclusive to HMV, would they have taken this same stance and refused to sell the DVD unless consumers were given the right to go and purchase the DVD from their competitors? No way. They would have thanked the Stones and licked up (pun intended ) all of the profits for themselves. This is a big case of sour grapes. HMV doesn't care about the consumer's rights. They only care about their own bottom line.

    Any other opinions out there?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    I agree with you that it does look something like sour grapes. I would point out that at this point, if someone really wants a Rolling Stones record, they have more options than in the past. If this happened 15 years ago, you wouldn't have been able to order anything online...but then no band would've entered into an agreement like this. It's a different world now. Can't blame HMV for being angry at this sort of thing, but it's also a symptom of music retailers losing lots of business to multi-faceted retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, et al. All they're doing by pulling Stones product is losing a few sales; I don't think they're hurting anyone but themselves. But all this begs a question: who exactly is the audience for a DVD that documents the last Stones tour?

    I don't like others.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I guess the Rolling Stones have the "right" to sell their stuff wherever they want. Still, I do think it's a pretty ****ty way to do business. I may have no sympathy for a big chain like HMV, but if bands start making exclusive sales deals with any regularity, it's gonna be the small shops getting the shaft as usual. Big retailers have enough advantages in the marketplace, I'd hate to see exclusive deals like this just make it even harder for others to compete. What are small retailers supposed to do if we get into a situation where most of the major acts have exclusive retail distribution deals?

    I think if the removal of Rolling Stones stuff from HMV stores can even do a little to stop a trend from forming in the direction of exclusive sales, it's a good thing. Personally, I don't know how much effect this would have, but if they are a big player, it may be signifigant. And, I'd much rather see them play hardball and keep refusing to sell Stones stuff rather than buckling and restocking. Good faith my ass. They wanna restock either because of pressure from distributers and/or customers, or they think they're losing too many sales. If they wanna take a stand; take the heat.

    Then again, I couldn't care less if the Rolling Stones ever sell another CD, video, or anything else for that matter. I'm still confused about why anyone gives a crap at this point.

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