The U.K.'s Virgin Megastores retail brand is revamping its Web site with enhanced existing services, increased user participation, plus new offerings linked to live music.

The move to offer a more developed digital experience comes shortly after rival HMV unveiled plans to include social-networking experiences and DRM-free downloads on its U.K. Web site.

In addition to an improved search engine for finding new releases and catalog titles, Virgin Megastores' online service will invite visitors to submit more user-generated content linked to music, films and games.

Additionally, users will have access to more music recommendations, video clips, and audio clips for 90%-plus of the artists and recordings featured on the site.

A new "In-store Event" section will feature recordings from weekly in-store performances and artist signings.

"We have developed a site which is truly reflective of the brand and the passion of the people that work for Virgin, giving us the capability to be a serious player in the multi-channel entertainment world," commented Steve Kincaid, Virgin Retail's marketing and e-commerce director, in a statement.

"Online is an increasing part of the mix and it is imperative that our reputation grows in this area as competition is fierce."