Online book vendor BOL has followed US-owned rival Amazon into the online music retail market, which is currently dominated by US giants like CD-Now.
Following its launch in the UK last March, BOL said it would open an online music store here on 24 November offering 100,000 titles. BOL said it would usually deliver within 24 hours of an order being placed.
BOL is part of Bertelsmann, the German-owned media giant whose BMG subsidiary is one of the world's biggest record companies, distributors and music publishers.
The service plans to match discounts offered on competitors' sites. For example, Top 20 CD albums will be sold at £9.99 and there will be no additional shipping costs on mixed orders, such as books and music.
To kickstart sales, BOL has waived delivery charges on CD-only sales until the end of this year.
Furthermore, the company said that BOL will attempt to differentiate its site by letting customers listen before they buy: over half of the titles being sold will have 30-second audio clips which can be listened to online.
The BOL site will also provide bol.com radio, a "customised channel which sits on your desktop and allows you to surf freely and access other sites while listening to the music."
BOL hopes that its online radio station will attract extra sales when next year it offers customers the ability to easily 'click and buy' any music they like which is being played on the station.
"We're also going to let people download MP3s of certain tracks which will work for thirty days," said BOL's UK managing director, Alexander Boich. But Boich said that BOL would not move into the downloadable music market until a format that is less prone to piracy than MP3 is popularised.
Early next year BOL will start offering a downloadable book service, according to Boich.
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