In its annual results announcement, JB Hi-Fi outlined two major business changes: the introduction of a subscription streaming music service before Christmas, and plans to allow online ordering to be picked up in stores. Which would you rather see?
Exact details on the timing of both options are still emerging. On the online shopping front, JB's announcement says this:
We will shortly enhance the [online]offer further with the additional convenience of being able to order online and pick up in-store.
That kind of offer is common overseas, and not entirely unknown in Australia. Officeworks already has a similar option, and Australia Post is experimenting with a scheme to allow 24-hour delivery stops so you can pick up online orders outside of business hours. Nonetheless, JB's adoption could drive other retailers to add the option.
As for the music service, called JB Hi-Fi Now, that's due before Christmas. It will initially be PC and Mac, with mobile options to follow. No details on pricing, but there will be a claimed 6 to 8 million tracks and 100,000 artists. The clear rival in the local market is Qrocity. Given rights issues, it seems less and less likely we'll see other options like Spotify appear here.
For myself, I'd rather have in-store pickup than another option to access music which isn't, in the final analysis, mine. What's your reaction?
JB Hi-Fi Results [PDF]