'HMV and Virgin to do digital battle in days,' hailed Silicon.com (31 August), while The Sun focused on the core issue, 'Downloadsamoney: two tribes go to war' (1 September). The problem for commentators appeared to be in distinguishing the 'unique' (Gennaro Castaldo - HMV, Daily Mirror, 2 September) qualities of both HMV and Virgin's 'similar digital download services' (vnunet.com, 2 September).
Both companies claimed a 'strong music heritage' (Richard Branson, netimperative.com, 1 September).
In addition, both offered access to million-plus catalogues via a monthly subscription, pay-as-you-go options and a host of other goodies, such as digital radio, live downloads and dedicated help for non-techies. 'Virgin and HMV raise stakes in race to corner download music market' (FT, 2 September).
Each fought more or less equally in the media arena, but the thorn in each side remained the market-leading iPod, still locked securely behind Apple's 'walled garden' (John Taylor - HMV, The Guardian, 2 September).
Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk.