2024-06-18 17:56:45
Virgin to Launch Unlimited Download MP3 Service isps/middlemen/music

PC Magazine

British cable TV operator Virgin Media is to launch an unlimited music download subscription service through a partnership with the world’s largest music company, Universal.

The music industry has been desperate to boost digital sales in recent years to overcome online piracy, and the agreement comes a day before a British report sets out how the creative and telecoms industries should tackle the problem.

People familiar with the service said it would cost 10-15 pounds ($16.30-$24.50) per month, which could appeal to parents concerned by children accessing illegal sites.

The service, which both sides described as a world first, would allow Virgin Media broadband customers to both listen by streaming and download to keep as many music tracks and albums as they want from Universal’s catalog.

The music will be in the MP3 format, meaning it can be played on the vast majority of music devices, including the iPod and mobile phones.

The service, which would compete with Apple’s iTunes, is set to launch later this year.

Virgin said as part of its cooperation with the music industry it would also work to prevent piracy on its network by educating users and would, as a last resort for persistent offenders, suspend Internet access.

Virgin said no customers would be permanently disconnected.

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