Play.com launches music download offering

Play.com, the online music retailer, is looking to challenge the dominance of Apple iTunes after making deals with all four major music labels to sell their tracks and albums as MP3 downloads. Sony BMG, Warner Music and Universal Music have joined the already signed-up EMI with the e-tailer.

The deals mean Play.com can now offer more than 3 million tracks for download via PlayDigital. The offering goes live today (9 October). The arrangements have allowed Play.com to launch a download service before its major competitors Amazon, HMV and Tesco.

PlayDigital, which was launched in February 2008 and is open only to UK residents, also has deals with several independent record labels. The service offers the top 100 tracks at 65p each, compared to iTimes 79p, with albums also cheaper.

PlayDigital head Wendy Snowdon claims the service is the cheapest for music downloads and says the pricing strategy has been devised with an aim to “steal even more market share”.

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