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Sky Songs Unveiled to Battle iTunes, Amazon, Spotify & Napster

Gordon Kelly

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Sky Songs Unveiled to Battle iTunes, Spotify & Napster

For some time Sky has talked up its plans for a music service that will sweep all before it. Talk's over, here's the walk...

The uber-broadcaster has today officially announced 'Sky Songs' which will provide both download and streaming access to an initial library of over four million tracks. As you would expect from Sky there's no free ad-supported model, all four major music labels are aboard (Universal, EMI, Sony Music and Warner) and you won't need to be a Sky customer already for access.

So really it all comes down to the price plans and here things stack up quite well:

  • pay £6.49 and download either a £6.49 album or 10 songs, and receive unlimited access to listen to over four million songs online for one month; or

  • pay £7.99 and download either a £7.99 album or 15 songs, and receive unlimited access to listen to over four million songs online for one month
In addition all downloaded tracks are in the venerable DRM free MP3 format while Sky broadband subscribers get an extra free downloadable album when they sign up.

"Our music partners bring an outstanding catalogue and unrivalled expertise that complements Sky's strengths in content distribution," said Sky COO Mike Darcey. "Sky Songs will reach out to consumers who want legitimate digital services offering choice, ease of use and great value. Offering legal access to digital music is a vital step in combating illegal downloading. "

Yep Sky Songs looks promising, in fact it looks up there with the newly slashed subscription price for Napster (£5pm for unlimited streaming and five downloadable tracks). Interested? Sky Songs is "coming very soon". So all in all it looks like Amazon MP3, 7Digital, iTunes and even Spotify may need to up their game once more. Competition, don't you just love it...

Links:

Sky Songs

Press Release

DrDark

October 12, 2009, 5:47 pm

We7.com is also interesting, can't remember who they've partnered with to 'Buy' from though. It's quite useful sometimes if a song is missing from Spotify, but I do find their site a bit cluttered.





Also, I saw a comment somewhere (possibly a youtube video) that the Palm Pre connects to Amazon's MP3 store. Can anyone confirm that?

Barry Ward

October 12, 2009, 6:27 pm

Things aren't looking good for Spotify now are they? They are moaning about shutting down in a year if things don't look up, yet ask for £10 p/m just to have ad-free streaming? Ok, you can download to listen offline, but the tracks still aren't yours to keep.


I like iTunes (Mac, not crappy Windows version) and like the store, but single tracks can be too expensive at 99p (not Apple's fault, but the studios) and it needs to have a subscription option at least.


Sky have actually got a decent deal here, and could do very well so long as they have the catalogue to back it up.

Jones

October 12, 2009, 8:19 pm

You're not considering all the facts though. Spotify Premium streams at a significantly higher bit rate. Now, for your average punter that won't matter but when listening on a mid range hi-fi system, believe me it can and does make a gigantic difference.





I now use both Spotify Premium (for iPhone) and Napster (for hifi conveinience) and Napsters level of compression really does lack at times compared to Spotify and really lacks compared to cds. Id imagine Sky will offer a similar bit rate to Napster but will be interested to see what they offer.





Skys deal isnt all that much better than Spotify's. Both are comparable. So you get a few free tracks to download (like Napster does), whoopideedoo! The whole point in services like these (to me at least) is that you dont ever have to clutter your harddrive up significantly unless you choose to and download.





As the article suggest though, some stiff competition in the subs based market can only be a good thing. Especially when Apple finally wade into things.

Chris

October 12, 2009, 8:45 pm

Sounds good to me, with one caveat... what's the bitrate of the downloaded files? I would expect the streams to be around 128 or 192 kbps, but if the downloads aren't at least 256kbps then I'd go elsewhere...

GoldenGuy

October 12, 2009, 11:25 pm

Take that iTunes! Now let's route for the little guy.

McPlopp

October 13, 2009, 1:10 pm

Is there no aspect of life in Britain that Sky won't try to invade? This could be the best service in the world and I wouldn't go near it with a barge pole. Sky are far too powerful and Murdoch's influence over the average person is scary. Plus their customer service is appalling and they fleece me on a monthly basis. (Like millions of others, I only subscribe to them because they have the rights to Premier League Football and there is no other viable alternative...)

Simon

October 13, 2009, 1:45 pm

McPloop, i too share your irrational hatred of all things Murdoch. (Probably not that irrational to be honest).

speedyg2012

October 14, 2009, 8:38 pm

Yeah, I guess Steve Jobs is easier to look at than Murdoch...





I prefer to purchase tracks individually rather than subscription based, interesting to see what prices if at all Sky have for those compared to say Amazon/Play/7Digital...

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