OD2 is planning to allow customers to pay for music downloads via a mobile-phone account.

According to Reuters the move is a bid to attract younger buyers, who lack credit cards and other means of payment but who are the "most avid users of free file-sharing services".

OD2 (On Demand Distribution) is Europe’s leading digital distributor of music. The company's UK marketing manager Paul Smith said: "This payment option opens up our services to a much wider demographic. It will allow younger fans to control their own music spend without having to hijack their parents' credit card."

The scheme is expected to launch in the UK on March 22. Customers can pay for an album or a track by sending an SMS text code, the charge will later appear on their mobile phone bill.

The service will work with the Vodafone, Orange, O2, and T-Mobile networks.

Wippit is said to be considering a similar SMS billing service. In the US Napster has introduced a pay-as-you-go system.