EMI is planning to enter the crowded digital music market, forming its own site to join the likes of iTunes and MySpace and marketing its artists' music directly to fans online. EMI.com, a consumer-facing portal to be launched before Christmas, has been closely monitored by Guy Hands, head of the Terra Firma private equity group that bought the record label for £2.4bn last year. The digital project, which began this year, will offer audio and video content. Users will be able to buy music and download it. There will also be unique content and elements of the site will be free. EMI declined to comment further about its plans. The record label wants to position EMI.com as a "learning lab" where people can discover new music as part of a broader digital strategy.