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BT planning music streaming service


By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 28 Mar 2011 at 16:15

BT is considering setting up a music service for its customers, marking a new chapter in the love-hate relationship between the music business and the web.

The service could be available in "the near future", with a free trial an option in the first months of the service, according to BT.

“We are very keen to launch a music service in the near future, but it will have to be with a model that customers will want and can work financially for BT," the company told PC Pro in a statement. "We are in the early development stage so we are not currently in a position to comment further.”

We are very keen to launch a music service in the near future, but it will have to be with a model that customers will want and can work financially for BT

As the UK's largest ISP, BT has invariably carried a huge amount of illegal downloads that the record companies have blamed for falling sales.

BT has also been active in fighting aspects of the anti-file-sharing side of the Digital Economy Act, with the ISP a chief protagonist in a judicial review of the legislation.

But according to an Invitation to Tender leaked to the Guardian, BT now plans to make online music pay.

The music service would be free to its 5.5 million users for the first six to nine months, with fees introduced after that time, the paper said, adding the leak showed BT was in talks with Universal Music and EMI.

It is unclear how BT might make such a model work, or how the payments system would stack up, but a loss-leading six-month free trial might be enough to wean customers away from illegal sites, at least temporarily.

The Guardian also raised the possiblility of a tie-in with streaming music service Spotify, which already has a million paying European subscribers.

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User comments

When BT started the Yahoo tie-in you could access LAUNCHcast Plus for free, which was near enough the same considering it was years ago, long before Spotify. No idea whether they still do that with Yahoo music though.

By gwillus1 on 28 Mar 2011

Off target

BT should concentrate all their resources on raising broadband speeds much closer to the upper limits of their packages for all customers, instead of fannying about providing a service that is already available elsewhere. I'm sick of making do with 1.4 Mbps when I pay for up to 8 Mbps.

By JayGeEm on 29 Mar 2011

Agreed JayGeEm

I don't want/need free web space, free email addresses, free static IP address, chances to win tickets some band I've not heard of. I just want cheap reliable fast broadband, with good customer support. these value added services just make me feel like I'm paying for something I don't need or desire.

BT doing music is like the AA doing boiler repairs and my bank selling me roadside cover. I do not want to go into my newsagent to buy a paper and them attempt to sell me a corsa!

By SimonCorlett on 29 Mar 2011

sorry should have wriiten


By SimonCorlett on 29 Mar 2011

Net neutrality

So let's see. BT launches this service then, in a few months' (or years'?) time, massively throttles bandwidth to Spotify etc?

By JimmyN on 29 Mar 2011

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