A bricks and mortar music store is transforming into a clicks and mortar presence, as the Virgin Group is launching a music store in the US. The Virgin Digital music store will serve as a counterpart to the Virgin Megastores, an online destination for Megastores customers. Tracks will be priced at 99¢ each, and the Virgin Digital Music Club will also offer a subscription service for US$7.99. As always, if you hear a song you like via the subscription service and want to download it, you will still need to pay the 99¢ for the privilege.
Virgin Digital marks the first foray into the online music download scene by a major bricks-and-mortar player. (Wal-Mart and some other online music stores sell CDs, but music is not their primary product line). Virgin sees its brand recognition as a big plus, believing that they can get Virgin Megastores customers to make the transition to Virgin Digital for online purchases. For now, the service will be available only in the US, with plans to expand to Europe at a later date. Similar to most other stores, tracks will be encoded in WMA and there is no Macintosh or Linux support (and with the choice of WMA, no iPod support either).