Virgin Joins Online Music Fray

“With the launch of Virgin Digital, Branson joins a crowded marketplace that is currently dominated by Apple’s iTunes Music Store. iTunes hold a solid 70 percent share of the market with the remainder divided up among of a crowded field composed of RealNetworks Rhapsody, America Online’s MusicNet, Microsoft’s MSN Music Store, Roxio’s legalized Napster service, Yahoo’s MusicMatch and retail giant Wal-Mart.

The Virgin Digital service features music downloads, a music club subscription service, streaming radio, support for over fifty portable music devices, and new music discovery options that are a throw back to the days of the all-knowing record store veteran. “

Virgin probably will not be a significant threat here in the United States, but will probably gain market share in Europe where they have stronger sales of their other product lines. Only time will tell.

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