A new, Latin-focused online digital store is slated to launch before year’s end, offering catalog and frontline releases from all the majors as well as multiple indies.

Musicalatina.com will have its soft launch the week of December 15, and in January, marketing and promotion will begin in earnest for the site. A view of the site’s beta shows a layout with a Latin tilt and with information in both English and Spanish. Although most tracks will be sold for 99 cents, some will be available for as low as 49 cents.

Musicalatina belongs to Latin tropical indie J&N Records, whose president, Juan Hidalgo, has been developing the site for the past five years, after he purchased the domain name.

“I am currently the only Spanish-language online store that has catalog from all the majors,” says Hidalgo, who hired an Atlanta-based company to develop the site’s software. Having the majors on board should be a major selling point for musicalatina, which already has an advantage in the name alone. According to Hidalgo, already an average of 150,000 to 200,000 visit the site per month expecting to find Latin music content.

Although several Latin-centric digital stores cropped up in the United States in the past few years, they haven’t flowered. Most recently, misrolas.com, which specialized in indie Latin music, shuttered its digital store in August to concentrate on its mobile business. And univision.com recently partnered with Zune for its online music sales.

The bulk of online Latin music sales come from iTunes Latino, the Latin-dedicated channel on iTunes. Unlike iTunes, however, musicalatina will sell advertising on the site.

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