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OD2 is EU'S King of the Hill
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
2003-03-08
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While the US has a relatively crowded music subscription market, from major labels initiatives MusicNet & pressplay, to major media players like Real & Apple (TBA), as well as a host of others player such as MusicMatch & Rhapsody. This contrasts with the European market where OD2 has taken the definitive pole position. Following on its partnership with European ISP Tiscali, BT unveiled dotmusic on demand, its subscription service powered by OD2's technology and catalogue.

The service is the first in Europe to offer unlimited downloading and streaming of OD2's catalogue of over 150,000 tracks from major & independent labels. While labeling the service as "the first genuine alternative to illegal services such as Kazaa," the service still appears to fall short, limiting to 10 the number of downloads subscribers can burn with the unlimited service for £9.99 - still much cheaper than the average CD though. Whether subscribers will be ready to pay £0.99 - £1.49 for additional tracks will truly determine whether the service will be "cause for new optimism for the music industry."

My suspicion is that this will still fall short, especially among younger surfers who will not likely find anything compelling to part with their dough. However, BT is obviously counting on the rich content in their dotmusic site to drive subscription and download sales by "enabling subscribers to go straight from reading an interview with an artist, to downloading tracks." It occurred to me that this strategy may be somewhat wrong-headed, though, as surfers may be more interested in subscribing to access to an exclusive interview of their favorite artists than paying to burn tracks they can get for free on KaZaa.

Related News from Mi2N:
» BT Offers Unlimited Music Downloads With Dotmusic On Demand


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