Unlimited music - the carrot to make people stay with a provider?
With broadband providers in the UK and elsewhere in discussion with the music industry over issues like illegal downloads it is perhaps no great surprise that music labels are looking to create add-on packages allowing people to pay a subscription fee rather than a per track fee for downloading music.
The Times confirms that Warner Music is holding talks with the main UK broadband providers which may see providers offering a music subscription as an add-on fee to their basic package fee. No precise pricing is mentioned for the UK, but a figure of $5 is mentioned for the US, which would probably translate to £5 in the UK.
As a way of locking customers into a provider, music that is only playable so long as you keep paying the subscription is a clever plan, although if a number of providers offer the subscription service all people will have to do is re-download their favourite tracks. Any subscription service is likely to have digital rights management, which raises issues of how portable will the files be between different computers and music players in a household.