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Sky Broadband Details Legal UK Music ISP Download Service - Sky Songs

Posted: 23rd May, 2009 By: MarkJ
Details of BSkyB ( Sky Broadband ) and Universal Music's long running plans to launch a legal broadband music download service (original news), which will now be called Sky Songs, have finally been unearthed. The preliminary details hint at a four tier service, with each offering unlimited "streaming" (listen for free online).

It's understood from The Register that package pricing would differ based on a monthly track/album download allowance that, unlike streaming, refers to the number of tracks you can save to your computer and thus stick on an iPod etc.

The cheapest tier would cost around £4.99 per month and allow 5 tracks to be downloaded, while the most expensive would cost £11.99 and permit 20 downloads or two complete albums. Typically these prices may not reflect final pricing, but they are a good indication.

Considering that there are already "free" streaming services, such as Spotify, and that individual DRM-free tracks can cost from as little as 29p on sites like Amazon (note: audio quality on Amazon's downloads can be more variable than some), then we have a few doubts about the attractiveness of this proposal.

We would suggest that ISPs start by offering a quota of free or at least more discounted track downloads, since £4.99 for 5 tracks seems a little too costly in the modern climate and the value of streaming is clearly difficult to gauge. In either case, we would encourage Sky to trial its idea first and allow customers to give their verdict.
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