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UPDATE UK ISP BT Launch Internet Music Streaming Service for TV Users

Friday, November 29th, 2013 (10:32 am) - Score 1,537

BT and Universal Music haven’t given up on their long held plans to launch an Internet-based music streaming service and indeed one is about to be introduced, albeit at a cost of £3 extra per month (FREE to their TV Unlimited customers).

Broadband ISPs first began discussing the prospect of offering legal music streaming and download services some years ago. The aim has always been to work with Rights Holders and facilitate the development of new legal ways for people to access related content on the internet (here), which would discourage the use of “illegal” (unlawful) P2P copyright file-sharing activity (Internet piracy).

But so far it hasn’t really worked. Sky Broadband briefly managed to get their own music service (Sky Songs) off the ground before realising that nobody was especially interested in another Spotify clone (here). Since then Virgin Media has entered a special partnership with Spotify but ISPs have generally failed to offer a truly fresh and original alternative, largely because rights holders have often chosen to constrain their ambitions.

As a result it might surprise some readers to learn that BT are giving the idea another bash and, according to The Guardian, the service will initially only be available to the operators TV subscribers. Apparently it will launch with only 150 albums worth of music tracks but this should soon expand to 1,000+ albums.

The newspaper claims that BT’s Music service, which has been in beta testing for around two months and is expected to launch “imminently“, also has the support of EMI, Sony Music and Warner. It’s an interesting development but between Spotify, iTunes and Amazon the market for Digital Music is already quite well developed and only something truly different could change that, if only Rights Holders would allow it.

UPDATE 2:03pm

As expected the service has now been officially announced and the details are the same as previously reported. BT has already started to email its BT TV customers to highlight the new service and to offer it as an option to customers building their own subscription package.

Alex Green, Director of BT TV, said:

We are really excited to have signed this contract with Universal Music and we are hopeful we can sign other deals with more labels in the near future.

This takes our Music offering to another level, at no additional cost to customers. It will allow them to enjoy a whole album at times when they are not necessarily able to sit down and watch the TV.”

In addition, BT TV’s recent deal with BSkyB (Sky Broadband) means their customers can now add 11 of the Sky Movies channels for £16 a month.

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar screw the big 6 says:


    BT obviously never heard of a cd-r full of mp3’s or an ipod like device then, because clearly people are going to waste more electric using their tv with crappy speakers, to listen to music than on their audio setups that sound a heck of a lot better.

    Face Palm springs to mind, hopefully this will be dead in a few months, I’ll give it 6 tops.

  2. Avatar darren says:

    there needs to be music services a lot cheaper than the ones at the moment 99p to download a song is to expensive 50p per download would be a good price its just greed by the music and film industry there not willing to adapt and come up with good priced services

  3. Avatar telecom engineer says:

    Havnt tried the new service but the ecisying music video service was good. Rather they consentrated on improving that with hd vids and make it easier to make play lists. Also they could do a lot more with kareoke. A usb microphone and wider library would make a nice party feature.

  4. Avatar hmm says:


  5. Have to admit I still haven’t “got” these music streaming services – must be my age, but I am happy with my purchased music collection (CDs then loaded on to my now old iTouch) plus Internet radio.

  6. Avatar Miron says:

    Oh god, what are they thinking?? How do they possibly see this going well? I mean, there are so many options to begin with…no way I’d even consider leaving spotify and torch music for this. Keep dreaming…

  7. Avatar Unknown101 says:

    Don’t think it’s meant to make people switch from another streaming service – it’s just a free extra (for the unlimited TV package) service for customers to use, it’s obviously not going to bring them customers but help retain them especially if the service can grow with other labels signing up….

  8. Avatar dragoneast says:

    The music steaming services are grist to the mill of those of us without huge old-tech music collections. (Mind you, most of my listening is still on FM, even through the smartphone mobile).

  9. Avatar CrazyLazy says:

    “The service will initially offer the equivalent of about 150 albums of music tracks, which subscribers can listen to through their BT TV service.”

    For £3 a month, err no thanks that is a pathetically small selection compared to other music services.

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