Virgin Digital Service Launched

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Virgin Digital, the digital entertainment platform of the Virgin Group, redefined the digital music market with the launch of the Virgin Digital service, the most comprehensive digital music offering available to consumers with over 1 million tracks and compatibility with over 50 portable devices.

"Virgin stands for innovation, fun, and an absolute dedication to customer value," stated Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of companies. "We worked directly with passionate music fans around the world and together we've come up with a digital music service that truly defines the Virgin energy and spirit. It's time for a digital music revolution!"

Virgin Digital, available for free at www.virgindigital.com, redefines the digital music experience by combining a variety of features and consumer elements into one robust digital music destination. The service spans a digital music store, music club subscription service, streaming radio, powerful digital music & portable device management tools, and an assortment of music-discovery options.

The Virgin Digital Megastore offers an entire 'Virtual Virgin Megastore' right on a PC, featuring over one million available tracks for just 99¢ each with licenses for playing, burning to CDs and downloading to portable devices. For consumers who prefer a greater level of music-access, the Virgin Digital Music Club is a subscription-based service for $7.99 per month and enables users to have unlimited access to over 100,000 albums of on-demand, CD-quality music to experience any way a music fan can imagine. Radio Free Virgin, one of the most acclaimed online radio services, is completely integrated into the Virgin Digital service, bringing world-class radio entertainment directly to the desktops of the most dedicated music fans.

The new service also features a complete digital music management tool that brings simplicity, flexibility, and power to the desktop. Users can rip and encode CDs, import digital audio from a variety of sources, burn custom CDs, create playlists, transfer to over 50 portable-music devices, and much more. Virgin Digital tames the wild-and-wooly world of digital music and simplifies it all into one elegant, intuitive product.

Virgin Digital has taken the unique "customer first" mentality of the Virgin brand and created the ultimate online/offline customer service experience: 'Ask the Expert,' a customer support and music discovery function available directly on the interface of the product, is like walking into a retail store and asking a highly-knowledgeable salesperson for help. Real-live music and technology experts will answer any questions users may have, finding or recommending music for any music lover, assisting customers in exploring, experiencing and enjoying the world's largest online music catalog, or solving any player-related technical issues. The result is that the Virgin customer benefits from a seamless combination of a great music and a great digital experience. Moreover '3-D browsing', a Virgin Digital exclusive, continues to deliver on that promise by interconnecting and cross linking all relevant content including album credits and artist biographies. This allows customers to easily explore and experience the catalog for themselves in an intuitive, fun and personalized way. No other service allows its customers this kind of music discovery experience.

"We set huge goals with Virgin Digital bringing the excitement and customer-focused experience of a Virgin Megastore directly to the world of digital entertainment. And we nailed it," said Zack Zalon, president of Virgin Digital. "This is the most entertaining, powerful, and intuitive way for dedicated music fans to find, listen, and manage their music collections. It's a true 360-degree world of music."

Virgin Digital will work collaboratively with other Virgin Group companies on cross marketing and promotions in an effort to mutually extend the breadth, depth and knowledge of music available to customers.

Virgin Digital builds upon the music licenses and content distribution platform provided by MusicNet, while leveraging its own unique technological resources for the playback engine, user interface, search, browse, and media-management functions to create the overall Virgin Digital platform and consumer offering. The product is compatible with any portable music device running Microsoft's 'Plays for Sure' software.

While plans are currently in place to extend Virgin Digital outside of the United States, no dates have been announced. –Bob Grossweiner

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