Digital music service 7digital has relaunched its offering with a string of new features, and is boldly setting its sights on the market dominance of iTunes.

The enhanced, format-agnostic U.K. store goes live today with EMI's complete DRM and DRM-free catalog in the MP3 format. German and Ireland launches will take place next week, followed by a pan-European 7digital roll out in Q3 of this year.

Ben Drury, founder of 7digital, declared the announcement a "significant step forward for the digital media industry," and emphasised that the DRM-free model represented the future for the business.

"Only MP3 is truly interoperable," Drury said during a media gathering in central London this morning. "This is what consumers want. DRM-free is going to open-up the market. We want to support as many devices as possible.

Roughly half 7digital's 2 million-plus licensed catalog is DRM-free MP3-fomat, comprising repertoire from numerous indies and EMI, he said.

In a statement issued to accompany the press launch, 7digital declared it "takes on iTunes" with the announcement.

"We take the view that we should support every device out there," Drury added. "We believe in openness, supporting multiple devices and multiple formats and we believe that is the way the [industry] is going."

The next-generation of 7digital also features a Web-based "locker" function, which allows users to retrieve media files remotely, and flexible pricing.

Albums -- including works from Paul McCartney -- will be priced from £5 and singles prices priced from just 50 pence.

A host of downloadable video content, including Bob Marley and the Wailers' classic "Live at the Rainbow" concert from 1977, and more than 5,000 music videos, will also be available.

Drury also confirmed an extension in its exclusive relationship as a "global preferred partner" with Last.fm, the London-based music recommendation service which was acquired recently by CBS for $280 million.

Since launching in 2004, 7digital has built more than 700 digital music services for third-parties, and claims to have delivered downloads for more than 918,000 consumers. The company is backed by technology-specialist investment firm Benchmark Capital.