Feeds

Virgin to open music download service

MusicNet bags second big-name customer

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Virgin is to launch a music download service in August. Richard Branson will join Apple, Napster, MusicMatch, BuyMusic et al when he opens Virgin Digital (VD)- the front end for online distribution company MusicNet.

MusicNet was formed in April 2001 by Sony, Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and Warner Music Group as a digital music distribution operation supplying online retailers in much the same way their physical distributors supply the labels' High Street retailers.

Since then, MusicNet has signed distribution deals with the remaining 'big five' record companies, EMI and Universal, along with a large roster of independent labels. To this day it sells music through AOL, though an early deal with Real Networks ended last year after Real's acquisition of rival supplier Listen.com and its Rhapsody service. MusicNet also signed Yahoo!, but according to the distributor's web site, AOL remains its only online retail partner.

MusicNet has always offered songs on a subscription basis, though the exact retail approach is left to the retailer. VD president Zack Zalon said that the service will offer both a subscription service and pay-as-you-go downloads. He would be drawn into detailing the company's pricing strategy, saying only that it would be "hyper competitive". However, it's unlikely to be radically below the 99 cents a song price point established by Apple and followed by its rivals.

Instead, VD is likely to compete on the strength of the Virgin brand and the mindshare it has among music buyers, thanks to the Virgin Megastore chain. Virgin's V2 music label and its Virgin Radio broadcasting operation are likely to be used to promote the service, too.

Indeed, its online Radio Free Virgin Internet stations will be explicitly linked to the VD service, through the latter's iTunes-style jukebox software front end. The software, which will be available for download or offered on CD in the various Megastores, will use Microsoft's Windows Media 9 format. ®

Related Stories

Real Networks drops MusicNet for Listen.com
AOL intros US-only music service
EMI, BMG, AOL define universal Net music scheme
Wippit preps 'EasyJet-style' music d'load scheme
Universal builds 20TB digital music archive
Napster schedules UK launch

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.