Economists and analysts will debate why HMV went into administration for years, but for others the answer is pretty simple: the internet.

For while HMV was able to capitalise on the rise of CDs, DVDs and boxed video games, which it knew how to sell in bulk, when faced with online music sales, home shopping and piracy it was arguably left without an answer.

Among all the online innovations which contributed to finally kill HMV, a few stand out above the rest.

Take a look below for our picks of the six inventions which were most crucial in the retail giant's fall from dominance.

Vote on which you think was the most important - and if we've missed any let us know in the comments.

Loading Slideshow...
  • iTunes (Online Music Sales And Streaming)

    Try finding a portable CD player in Currys - then go into HMV and look at the racks of discs. See the mismatch? Apple launched in iTunes Music Store in 2003. While sceptics said it would never be able to compete with music pirates, Apple quickly proved it had more than enough to challenge both them and physical stores still stocking CDs - namely HMV. Digital sales of music have risen exponentially in the decade since its launch, while CD sales have cratered. HMV's own forays into digital music sales never took off, and its latter attempt to capitalise on digital with gadget sales also seemed a limp response. Streaming services like Spotify are the final nail in its coffin.

  • Piracy

    It's impossible to overlook the impact of piracy and file-sharing in the history of HMV. While the actual and potential lost revenue is impossible to measure accurately, it undoubtedly taught HMV's young customers to look online for music, games and films ahead of looking in the shops. In a sense its cultural impact was even more important than its financial one.

  • Amazon (Online Retail)

    While HMV had run its own 'Direct' mail order service since 1992 and its first web store in 1999, the rise of Amazon as the UK's largest online retailer over the past decade still seemed to take the company completely by surprise. Amazon's market-leading recommendations engine, coupled with its broad range of products, cheap prices and One Click ordering feature meant it was often cheaper and easier to order online than venture out to the shops. The launch, and re-launch, of HMV.com was never able to match Amazon, and the retailer continued to suffer throughout the 2000s.

  • Steam (Digital Games Distribution)

    Video games are one of the fastest growing - and highest-grossing - media formats in the UK. But as the collapse of Game has recently proven, that doesn't mean people want to buy boxes with plastic disks inside - at least not on the High Street. The rise of digital distribution channels like Steam for PC gaming, Apple's App Store and the PSN and XBox Live networks have shown there is a different future on the horizon, while price-sensitive customers are looking online for the best deals for boxed games.

  • Smartphones (3G Networks)

    Smartphones - and 3G networks in particular - made it possible to shop online at Amazon even when standing inside a physical HMV store. Once it was possible to order a DVD cheaper on your phone than walking 20 feet to the cash till, it was hard to see how HMV could compete and still make enough profit to stay in business.

  • Streaming Media

    One from our suggestion box this - streaming media, including YouTube, Spotify, iPlayer and film services like LoveFilm has definitely made an impact. It's a more recent tech compared to Amazon and Piracy, but now movies, music and even games are available on demand, legally, anywhere in the world, for many people the point of buying them on disks isn't clear anymore. As an example, Gangnam Style has now been watched on YouTube almost 1.2 billion times. How many CD single copies do you think HMV sold?


Quick Poll

What had the biggest role in HMV's demise?

VOTE