Yet more activity in the all-you-can-eat music subscription space, with Universal teaming up with Virgin Media to promise a music download subscription service for broadband users.
Touted as the “world’s first unlimited music download subscription service”. Virgin Media’s broadband customers will be able to stream and download as many songs and albums as they like from Universal’s artists. These songs will play back on any iPod, MP3 player, mobile phone or computer. The music can then be kept forever.
With burgeoning digital music sales and the evolution of multiple online stores for music purchases, many online retailers, including Walmart, Amazon and iTunes, are engaged in price wars to attract sales.
However, short of zipping between the various online stores, how does a music fan find the best deal? New site, Downloadshopper is here to help.
We kind of like this little idea on a “legal alternative to file-sharing”, it has this positive altruistic element that may be a little naive, but still seems worth a name check, the service is called ShareMusic.
ShareMusic.com isn’t just another music download service, it’s a love exchange that allows musicians to offer the songs they want for sale to music fans in full knowledge that rather than subsidising iTunes or the champagne at the shareholder’s party over at the major music labels, the cash raised goes to good works and charity. Well, that’s what we’ve been told.
“No one wants to steal from their favourite artist,” the company said. “And everyone wants to help others. But no one really feels guilty stealing from Sony, or the big music corporations.
There’s always space for an evolving alternative. Perhaps one of the more interesting alternatives to the major label-sponsored online music system comes from the really quite noteworthy Jamendo service.
What’s interesting about Jamendo is that it offers free access and free download of music tracks, tracks which are published under the Creative Commons licences. Artists choose to give Jamendo users free access to their music. Continue reading →
European regulators this morning ordered music rights collection societies across all its member states to abandon the existing territorial framework under which they operate.
Regulators believe the network that exists to run foul of the one market aim of the EU, and also say it is holding back development of Europe’s online music market. As it stands, online music services such as eMusic or iTunes are forced to negotiate distribution rights on a per-country basis, going through whatever local hoops exist to secure permission, and being required to sell songs through a dedicated store for that country.
That last part – the dissonant song selling environment – means a European consumer is unable to shop across European music stores to secure the best available price – they can’t shop online for music in stores that serve any country other than the one they are in. This is clearly not the way the European market is meant to work.
The Commission now wants rights collection societies to set up a system in which digital music operators can secure a single license to sell songs across Europe, which will facilitate new online stores. The EU also wants rights societies to have to compete with each other, rather than the current situation where each holds a monopoly in its own country.
The decision goes against a relatively high profile campaign by musicians and rights societies in which they declared a pan-European license would impact their earnings. However, European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said the deal could “benefit cultural diversity by encouraging collecting societies to offer composers and lyricists a better deal in terms of collecting the money to which they are entitled”. Artists will be able to choose which society they allow to manage their rights, she pointed out, and will likely opt for the most artist-friendly societies which offer the best deals.