is set to launch a rival to Apple’s iTunes, called PlayDigital, which will offer up to 1 million songs for customers to download. chairman and co-founder Richard Goulding said: “We believe PlayDigital will complement our music offering by giving customers more music to choose from and more ways in which to consume it.”

This marks a further move to tap into new markets away from the CD and DVD market on which was founded.

In the run up to Christmas the e-tailer had a 24 per cent increase in orders year on year and on its busiest day, December 3, the site had almost 1 million visitors.