High Street Darling HMV trialling social networking site

HMV or His Master's Voice, one of the more successful high street, music, books and video retailer, is said to be stealthily trialling a social networking website as it looks to surge ahead of its rivals online.

The Telegraph reports that HMV will release Get Closer to the world on September 1 and will allow users to import media files to create their own library; the site will apparently be funded by advertising revenues.

This would allow HMV, not only to profile the users of the social networking site, but also, get them to connect to other users with similar tastes to form what the company calls "spider clouds".

The group has been under constant pressure from online-only e-tailers like Zavvi, Amazon and play.com to innovate and find differentiators.

Whether trying to offer the same set of features as Myspace will entice new users to be interested in, register on Get Closer and then purchase HMV products will be an interesting case study.

If it succeeds, it will pave the way to other white labelled Social Networking websites from other entities; otherwise, it will just be yet another costly failure by a brick and mortar giant trying to be "hippier" than it is.