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Sky moving into music downloads arena
Wednesday 23 July 2008 12:46:48 by Andrew Ferguson

Broadband has radically altered how people obtain music, gone are the days of a rush to Woolworth's to buy the latest hit single. In 2008 what is more likely is that people will be logging onto various music download sites, or looking for free copies in violation of copyright rules from a mixture of peer to peer and download sites.

BSkyB looks set to try and make it easier for people to part with their cash in return for access to music. The increasing amount of letters being sent from copyright holders to broadband providers when they believe they have spotted someone downloading music illegally is likely to encourage more people to seek legal sources for their music fix.

While iTunes is a pay per track music download service, the new Sky offering in conjunction with Universal Music will operate on a subscription model with unlimited streaming and downloads that can be kept and played on any device for a fixed monthly fee. The lack of DRM will bring instant appeal, as then people can have the same music on their mobile phone, as their home PC without having to pay for two DRM protected downloads.

The news item on BBC News Online indicates that no prices have been announced yet and the only timeline is that the service will launch later in the year. Other companies have tried the subscription model, but have often used DRM to protect files, with the side effect that if the subscription stops then the music will also stop working. If the Sky service is to succeed it needs to hit an appealing 'pocket money' sized price point that will appeal to the massive teenage music market.

Comments

Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
"If the Sky service is to succeed it needs to hit an appealing 'pocket money' sized price point that will appeal to the massive teenage music market."

It also needs to have a lot more than Universal artists signed up.

I can't see this taking off at all unless SKY make this free to their subscribers.

If they charge a subscription fee SKY will need to force customers into a long term contract - otherwise anyone in their right mind would sign up for a month, download the entire catalogue and then cancel.
Posted by mishminx over 8 years ago
Not really... Its unlimited streaming music with limited DRM free downloadable music. So you couldn't download the whole catalogue. Although I suppose they would let you purchase more tracks for download once you have used up your free allowance.

Posted by mishminx over 8 years ago
Also I would much rather see a more whole home orientated service than one aimed at teenagers. So a service aimed at adults with plenty of content that appeals to teens. Parental controls, multiple users, ability to compile playlists for streaming and bundled as an addon to your sky tv/phone/broadband package.

I doubt it will be anything like that though.
Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
"Not really... Its unlimited streaming music with limited DRM free downloadable music."

My bad - I must have missed this before.

What's this "unlimited streaming" lark all about?

Most people want music on their MP3 player/phone or hifi where its theirs and won't vanish after 5 plays. I know I do.

Please tell me SKY aren't going to charge money for such a crippled service? Bad enough it will only have one record label signed up....
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
The lack of DRM means once you've downloaded it, it is yours until you delete it.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
It wouldnt surprise me if its free for people on skys premium services.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
the Pirate2Pirate community will certainly welcome the lack of DRM :-)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"the Pirate2Pirate community will certainly welcome the lack of DRM :-)"

As Andrew said "The lack of DRM means once you've downloaded it, it is yours until you delete it"
Their is no pirating involved. You pay its yours... That simple.
Posted by edynamic over 8 years ago
This article and all these comments, and not one mention of Napster: to which I'm happily subscribed.

Am I missing something?
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