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MySpace frees up firms to sell digital downloads

MySpace is to allow companies to sell music, movie and games downloads through it, laying the grounds for another rapid growth period for the social-networking site.

It is believed the ini-tiative, which will pit the News Corp-owned site against services such as Apple's iTunes store, will enable record labels, film distributors and video-game firms to create storefronts for downloads on their MySpace pages.

MySpace has been credited with aiding the rapid rise of music acts such as Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys, who uploaded free tracks to the site before becoming famous.

'We'll see downloads form part of customisable My-Space communities in the UK later this year,' said Jay Stevens, vice-president of operations, EMEA, at MySpace. 'We have a whole host of business development initiatives on the slate.'

The activity will also allow brands to target MySpace's 8.7m unique users with incentivised ad campaigns. For example, consumers could be offered free downloads in exchange for interacting with a specific brand.

Last September, MySpace signed a deal in the US with digital-licensing firm Snocap to allow unsigned bands to sell downloads via the site.

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