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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 16:14 GMT
Radio to offer MP3s as you listen
Take That
Boy band Take That topped this week's download charts
Music fans will soon be able to purchase songs as they listen to them on their digital radio or mobile phone.

The service, called Digital Music Downloading, allows listeners to buy any song they hear, with MP3 copies being sent to their phone and computer.

Customers will have to pre-pay for the songs using a credit plan similar to those used for mobile phone calls, and each track will cost about 1.25.

It launches next year, initially on a limited number of stations and mobiles.

Stations that have already signed up to use the technology include Heart, Smash Hits, Smooth, The Hits and Classic Gold Digital.

The service is being launched in association with UBC Media, which owns the frequencies the service will use.

Convenience over cost

Chief executive Simon Cole said trials had shown that the service was most popular with people who had previously been put off by downloading music because they thought it was too complicated.

However, the proposed cost of downloading the songs may put off those who are used to paying smaller amounts for online music shops such as iTunes and Napster.

Mr Cole has previously said he believes customers would be "willing to pay a premium" for the added convenience of his company's service.

The downloading service is expected to launch in London in early 2007, with a full launch in May.

DAB digital radio has been promoted as a platform that offers many more stations than the FM waveband, with less interference.

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