You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Circuit City buys MusicNow

Store keeping pace in retail downloadable tune war

A correction was made to this article on Apr. 4, 2004.

HOLLYWOOD — Retail chain Circuit City is acquiring online music store MusicNow in a bid to build out its own digital music service and fend off competition for its CD-selling business.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Formerly called FullAudio, MusicNow focused primarily on building digital music services for other companies until last year, when it launched its own store. One of its primary partners has been Circuit City competitor Best Buy, an alliance that’s likely to end with the new deal.

For its part, Best Buy recently announced it is working with Tower Records, Virgin Music and others to build a digital music consortium called Echo.

MusicNow has been largely eclipsed by higher-profile competitors such as iTunes and Napster, putting it in danger of obsolescence without a major new partner. Circuit City plans to use MusicNow’s infrastructure and access to major-label and independent content to build its own online music store and offer digital music in its 600 physical locations.

“In addition to being one of the leading music and electronics retailers in the world, Circuit City brings to our business an important set of resources,” said MusicNow CEO Scott L. Kauffman. “Having a company with those characteristics to support MusicNow is essential for competing in this dynamic market.”

Circuit City’s Web site currently offers digital music from partner company Liquid Audio, which is also powering the recently launched online music store of Circuit City competitor Wal-Mart. While the Wal-Mart store has received generally poor reviews, it is the cheapest online music offering at just 88¢ per track.

Circuit City didn’t say how it plans to design its new service. MusicNow’s current offering is the industry standard 99¢ per track or $9.95 per month for unlimited streaming.

Move comes as America Online’s inhouse digital music store MusicNet revealed plans to expand into Europe with the appointment of Mark Mooradian as a new exec VP based in London.

More Digital

  • BBC Studios Names Anna Cronin Digital

    BBC Studios Names Anna Cronin Digital Content Director (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anna Cronin has been upped to director of digital content at BBC Studios, a new role at the production and distribution arm of the U.K. pubcaster. The position is within BBC Studios’ content partnerships division, which oversees the company’s programming and IP partnerships. Cronin will work with U.K. and international partners, and notably those in [...]

  • Facebook's Oculus Quest Shows How AR

    What the Oculus Quest Can Teach Us About the Future of Mixed Reality

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is a great gaming device that simplifies virtual reality (VR), doing away with the need for an expensive PC and external tracking hardware. But with its integrated tracking, the Quest can also teach us a thing or two about the future of virtual and augmented reality. Those two areas of [...]

  • snapchat-logo

    Snapchat Takes Down Porn Lenses, May Start Cat-and-Mouse Game

    Snapchat quickly removed a handful of x-rated augmented reality lenses Tuesday, dealing a blow to efforts by adult entertainment company Naughty America to promote its subscriptions to the service’s users. However, the porn studio may not be quite done with Snapchat just yet, as it is still distributing the source files that allow Snapchat users [...]

  • YouTube logo

    Why YouTube Is Changing the Way It Reports Subscriber Counts

    Within the next three months, YouTube will change the way it publicly displays channel subscriber counts: It will provide only rounded figures instead of actual follower numbers. For example, under the change, T-Series — the Indian music-video channel that recently surpassed PewDiePie to become the most-subscribed channel on the platform — would be listed in [...]

  • Phillip Eubanks and Marc Hemeon Join

    Phillip Eubanks and Marc Hemeon Join Troy Carter’s Q&A

    Q&A, the music and tech company founded by former Lady Gaga manager and Spotify exec Troy Carter, today announced the appointments of Phillip Eubanks as Chief Operating Officer (pictured above, right) and Marc Hemeon as Head of Design (left). The pair join Carter, J. Erving (Human Re Sources, Atom Factory), Suzy Ryoo (Atom Factory, OMD) [...]

  • Simran Sethi Quits Netflix India Role

    Simran Sethi Quits Netflix India Role

    Simran Sethi, the Los Angeles-based director of Netflix international originals, responsible for India content, has resigned and will quit after a transition period. Netflix did not comment. Sources familiar with the matter told Variety that Netflix prefers an executive based in India to oversee local original content that has now grown to 11 series and [...]

  • The Secret Life of Pets 2

    ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $11.52 million through Sunday for 869 national ad airings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content