Virgin Digital launches Yet Another Music Store (YAMS)

As another week starts, Yet Another Music Store (YAMS) gets launched. Virgin Digital today launch their music service in the US.

To raise their head above the other online music stores, Virgin have lined up a number of features that they hope will be differentiators. Their thinking – one million music tracks, an “Ask the Expert” services and “3D browsing”, but more on those later.

They are looking to play on their strengths, taking the approach that they are a music company aiming to sell music, not a technology company trying to sell music and by listening to their customer’s views of online services, they are creating the idea tool for music fans.

Individual tracks are priced at the now-to-be-expected 99c and the subscription service, priced $2 lower than rival service from Napster or Real at $7.99, will offer unlimited streamed access to over 100,000 albums, 60+ radio stations and protected downloads.

The differentiators – “Ask the Expert”, where customers will be able to pose questions about music and technology matters and get an answer without the usual sarcastic grimace from the floppy-haired assistant behind the shop counter. The futuristically named 3D browsing will provide suggestions of other tracks to tempt the music-hungry fan to part with more cash.

MusicNet will be providing the backend and using Windows Media to protect the downloads, while enabling burning to CD and download to over 50 portable music players.

The service will be promoted heavily in their high street stores and in their traditional manner, we imagine that Virgin will be marketing the hell out of this, with their adverts aimed at the ‘yout’, quite possibly featuring a young lad snogging a granny.

Virgin Digital