Universal Music opens classical and jazz downloading site

Classical music fans have been left somewhat out in the cold by the digital downloading revolution, but this is set to change with the launch of Universal Music's new classical and jazz website.

Classical and jazz is usually favoured by the older generation, who are gradually coming online in greater numbers with the spread of broadband, and are becoming more computer savvy.

Universal is planning to tap in to this older generation's desire to add both new recordings and older, perhaps rare albums to their collections.

At the moment, the site has around 100,000 classical and jazz tracks, and 8000 CDs, but there are plans to add another 1500 a month.

The site at the moment is made up of the catalogues of Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, and Philips.

Each track costs around 79p, which is industry standard pricing, and will be available only in WMA format, which means that iPod owners won't be able to transfer the tracks to their devices. However, each track is supplied at 320Kbps, rather than Apple's 128Kbps files, which promises to deliver high quality sound recordings to the discerning ears of experienced listeners.

Already in the UK, around 60% of those over 50 are online, and at least 35% of those have broadband.


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