Chum launches online digital music store


TORONTO -- Chum Ltd. on Wednesday became the first Canadian broadcaster to join the growing digital music downloading business.

Toronto-based Chum said it has partnered with Puretracks Inc., an existing download service provider, to launch, a digital music store targeted at the broadcaster's young demo.

The strategy is combining Puretracks' jukebox infrastructure and online music collection with Chum's TV viewership.

The MuchMusic-branded digital jukebox will feature around one million titles that can be previewed and purchased for between $.79 and $1.29 per track, before downloading to PCs and portable MP3 players.

Maria Hale, vp of content business development at Chum Television, said the broadcaster will snag a "penny rate" on songs downloaded from, and further monetize its online music store with website advertising.

Hale added young Canadians will go to to sample and discover music from playlists generated by Chum's stable of youth and music-themed channels, including the flagship MuchMusic music video channel.

Chum, the latest to challenge Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store, already sells MuchMusic-branded ringtones and music compilations.

Chum was recently bought by rival broadcaster CTV Inc. as part of a CAN$1.7 billion ($1.55 billion) deal.