Loudeye Corp.-owned digital music service provider OD2 has made its debut in South Africa through an agreement to deliver what is believed to be the country's first legitimate download retailer.

Loudeye Corp.-owned digital music service provider OD2 has made its debut in South Africa through an agreement to deliver what is believed to be the country's first legitimate download retailer.

OD2 powers the Musica.co.za download service, which launched today (Dec. 13).

The move enhances the four-year-old Musica site, which belongs to the bricks-and-mortar music retailer of the same name. Until now, Musica focused on selling physical CDs online.

The service will offer more than 400,000 digitalized titles at launch. Content will be available on license from the four majors, except Warner Music International. The indies will be approached on a label-by-label basis.

The price of each downloadable track ranges from Rand 8.33-9.99 ($1.43-$1.72).

"Musica is a first mover in this space and believes there is a viable long-term digital music market," Philip Shepherd, OD2's business development manager, tells Billboard.biz. "Broadband penetration is somewhat low but will open up rapidly in 2005 with a second national operator being launched along with other smaller broadband solutions," Shepherd adds.

The retail chain belongs to New Clicks Holding Ltd. It operates 900 outlets in six southern Africa territories and is quoted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The new download service will target South Africa initially, before eyeing up business in neighboring southern African states.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print