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Virgin to Launch Digital Music Service

The U.K.-based Virgin Group said on Wednesday that it plans to launch its digital music service, Virgin Digital UK, on Friday, offering a library of over one million tracks for 79p ($1.42) each. The service was developed in-house, and will feature tracks licensed through U.S.-based MusicNet. In addition to permanent downloads, Virgin Digital will offer a basic subscription for 9.99 pounds ($18) per month and a premium version for 14.99 pounds ($27) per month. Virgin Digital will be promoted within all Virgin Megastores, which will also sell MP3 hardware compatible with the service from Samsung, Sony, Creative and iRiver; the service will not support Apple's iPod. The company also partnered with U.K. broadband provider Blueyonder, to offer free downloads and trial subscriptions to Virgin Digital. "With a strong music heritage behind us, as a record label and a retailer, Virgin has a huge advantage, and platform to launch a digital service that will become the ultimate destination to buy, stream, burn and enjoy the best the music world has to offer," said Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

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