Virgin Group’s new
business is set to compete with iTunes, Napster and others when it launches its own online music store. The company has partnered with MusicNet to create the service.
Virgin Digital’s songs will be available using the Windows Media Audio (WMA) standard. Details on pricing and distribution are still sketchy, but the company said that Virgin Digital will ultimately support mobile phones, handheld devices and other consumer electronics, according to a published
Reuters report. The service will also allow users to burn songs to CD and sports other features too.
Virgin enters a market that’s dominated by Apple’s iTunes Music Store, despite a steady stream of well-heeled competitors. Virgin’s reach is more widespread than some other companies it will be competing against, however: Virgin already sells electronic gear under its Virgin Pulse brand, including MP3 players, at Target department stores. And Virgin’s Megastores sell CDs, DVDs and other content at locations worldwide.
Virgin plans to launch the new online music service by the end of August.