Sky moving into music downloads arena
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.