Virgin Digital music service closes
Virgin is pulling the plug on its digital music service.
From Friday 28 September it will stop selling downloads, having accepted no new customers since last week. Subscribers to its Club service will be cut off when their next monthly payment is due. At that point subscribers will lose all the music they have had access to since they signed up.
Downloads will continue to be playable in Windows Media Player 10.
Virgin’s demise demonstrates why contrary to the industry’s enthusiasm music buyers are unwilling to embrace subscription services that promise access to millions of songs but can be cut off with scarcely a moment’s notice.
It’s no coincidence that iTunes, the leading digital music service, has no truck with subscriptions, preferring instead to ask the consumer to pay once for a track they can keep in perpetuity.
Virgin Digital launched in the UK August 2005 at a time when every media, music and mobile device maker was rushing to grab a share of what they thought would be a rapidly booming new market.
That has yet to be the case and Virgin may not be the last casualty as the industry consolidates around a few providers.