VIRGIN TERRITORY!

The music retailer tackles the threat of online distribution to their profit margins head on...

VIRGIN are the first music retailer to tackle the threat of online distribution to their profit margins head on.

While record companies have been taking steps to catch up with music fans by introducing ‘legitimate’ download services, the revolution in digital music still stands to cut high street retailers out of the deal.

Now, Virgin stores are to introduce portals where customers can download tracks onto portable players on a pay-per-track basis, reports The Guardian.

Sir Richard Branson said of the plans: “Passionate music fans have made it clear that they want their music when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it.

“Well, we’ve heard them. We’re going to redefine the way that our customers relate to their music – we’re going to take digital music into the stratosphere.”

The deal with US download service MusicNet will offer 700,000 tracks to customers, available either by paying for individual tracks or by monthly pre-pay subscription. It is not yet clear when the service, named ‘Virgin Digital’, will launch in the UK.