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HMV launches iTunes rival

Cheap music downloads aimed at new customers

HMV digital logo and screenshot

HMV’s revamped music download service, HMV digital, offers a catalogue of 10 million songs and cheap introductory download offers.

HMV digital is hoping to entice new users to its music download site with a host of launch offers, including 40p for any top 40 chart single, and chart albums from £4.99.

The online download store is compatible with both iTunes and Windows Media Player and works on both PCs and Apple Macs. Many tracks are available at the highest quality MP3 compression of 320kbps, and can be played on any MP3 player.

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A real rival to Apple?

HMV digital’s launch offer of 40p singles beats iTunes’ cheapest downloads by 19p, while both offer a selection of albums for £4.99. Only time will tell how the two music stores continue to compete on price, as HMV digital’s offers are all for ‘a strictly limited period’.

‘We are launching with an introductory offer on the top 40 chart singles, which will run for a limited period,’ a spokesperson for the high street music retailer confirmed.

‘This will depend, in part, on the public’s response to it, so it could potentially run days or longer, and it’s hard therefore to give a definite end date, but I would expect the offer to continue through this week at least and hopefully a little longer.’

When it comes to choice, HMV digital’s ten million-strong selection may well match or even better iTunes. Apple’s store claims to boast ‘millions’ of tracks, but doesn’t specify how many. However, HMV digital is only offering downloads of music and audio books at the moment, so isn’t positioning itself to rival iTunes’ films, podcasts and apps just yet.

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