Monthly digital compilations planned.

Volvo Cars of North America has partnered with Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store to launch "nu: the sounds of new Scandinavia," a micro-site designed to promote developing Nordic artists.

The micro-site, which will be part of iTunes, will feature a new 12-song digital compilation each month, assembled by Volvo. Up to four track downloads will be free each month; the remainder will carry the standard iTunes price of $0.99. The first batch of free songs will be from Scandinavian bands the Drowners, the Dandelions and Vega.

The initiative will launch with a March 23 event at the Times Square Studio in New York. The Drowners, Sahara Hotnights, the Ark, and DB will perform.

Volvo will spread the word about "nu" (Swedish for "now") through direct mail to owners of its cars and potential customers. The car company will distribute DVDs with links to the nu site and the artists' Web sites; it will also hand out iTunes gift certificates.

The branding initiative marks a continued relationship between Volvo and iTunes. The car company's entire 2005 U.S. model line is equipped with customized iPod connectivity.