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Universal & Sky Prep Online Music Subscription Service
By: MarkJ - 23 July, 2008 (9:05 AM)

BSkyB (Sky Broadband, TV etc.) has teamed up with Universal Music to launch a new online music subscription service. UK and Irish consumers will, for a single monthly subscription, be able to enjoy "unlimited" listening with a huge choice of songs as well as the opportunity to download tracks to own forever.

Happily the service will also make it easy for users to listen to songs on a wide range of devices, which will be welcome news to those that loath the inflexible use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) by some firms. Downloaded tracks will work on any mp3-compatible fixed or portable device, including iPods, mp3 players and mobile phones:

Mike Darcey, Chief Operating Officer, BSkyB, comments: “It’s clear that there’s huge demand for online music and companies like Sky and Universal Music are well placed to work together to meet consumers’ needs. We aim to offer an easy and affordable service for all UK music fans, while ensuring that artists are properly rewarded for their creativity.

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and Chief Executive, Universal Music Group International, adds: “The new Sky service will provide a compelling digital music experience, built for the ever growing digital appetite of music fans. In a world where a majority of UK homes have high speed broadband access, consumers will welcome a safe, state-of-the-art service and legal alternative to those services which exploit musicians without compensation.

The service, which will be operated by a new joint venture company where Sky is the majority shareholder, is scheduled to launch later on this year. Sky is in discussions with other music companies, both majors and independents, and expects to announce further partners soon. Pricing has yet to be revealed.

Sky and the music firms hope that services like this one will help to dissuade consumers from using illegal illegitimate file-sharing (P2P) services to download music. Meanwhile, wider industry plans are already afoot that could see broadband subscribers to various ISPs offered special music downloading discounts with their packages (news).

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