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Virgin set to launch music subscription service


By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 30 Jun 2011 at 08:45

Virgin Media is on the brink of launching a music subscription service after negotiating deals with Spotify and four major record companies.

The planned announcement would bring to an end a tortuous process that started in early 2009 when Virgin announced a subscription service in conjunction with Universal music.

According to a report in The Guardian, citing unnamed sources, deals are now in place and “all but signed” with Spotify, Universal, EMI, Sony and Warner Music.

Virgin was unable to reveal details of the service when we asked for comment, but confirmed the planned service and said negotiations were well advanced.

“We’re working hard on a new music service and are in very encouraging and progressive talks with both major and independent labels," a spokesperson said.

"Our focus remains on providing a compelling music service for both consumers and industry and we’re developing a proposition that promises to be a truly attractive alternative to illegal file-sharing.”

The process has taken longer than expected because any deal with Spotify needed to be ratified by all four record companies, who have the power to veto any Spotify subscription partnership, The Guardian said.

The deals are expected to result in a subscription-based bundle package sold alongside TV and broadband and could be launched as a trial service over the summer, with a full launch scheduled for later in the year.

Virgin would be fighting history with the service, with Sky unable to make a similar online jukebox system work after launching in 2009. Sky Songs closed after little more than a year.

Whether Virgin would follow Sky's paid-for model or offer a Freemium version remains to be seen, but the company faces a race to launch the service after BT recently confirmed it was planning a streaming service


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User comments

Groove Shark

That is all.....

By Lacrobat on 30 Jun 2011

Virgin music subscription service

... yet another music subscription service that will fail in 1-2 years.

Does anyone still use Napster or eMusic?

By Stiggy on 30 Jun 2011

Failure inevitable?

I had heard Spotify was doing all right so a Virgin branded version actively promoted to their millions of customers should gain some traction. The trick will be to find the right pricing model.

By milliganp on 30 Jun 2011


Well said. It gets my vote.

By tirons1 on 30 Jun 2011

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