Beyond Oblivion, the internet music streaming venture that is part owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, has revealed its plans for a new service that it hopes will become the next big thing in internet music streaming.
The new service is called Boinc and is expected to launch in Q4 2011 following an invite-only Beta-testing trial period in October, for which applications are now being taken. Beyond Oblivion has claimed that negotiations to include music from all four of the world’s largest music publishers – Universal, Warner Music, Sony and EMI – are at an advanced stage.
In an interview with the Financial Times the company has also revealed that it is close to reaching an agreement with a large PC maker and a smartphone manufacturer that would see Boinc come pre-loaded on certain computers and handsets. Other users, including iOS and Android smartphone users will be expected to make a one-time purchase to secure Boinc's services.
Of course, this isn’t the first time a company has invested large sums of money to provide a service that has so far proven difficult to generate decent profits from. Even Spotify – usually held up as the most successful of all the streaming sites – has had to make some fairly draconian moves in order to support its own business model.
Little has been revealed of exactly how Boinc intends to reverse this trend, and less still has been revealed about how much it will be paying the music publishers per track. Or, critically, how much the service will cost those users without a pre-Boinc'd device. The company has however claimed that Boinc users will face, “No download charges, no monthly subscription fees and no ads.”
Will Boinc make a success of things and go on to challenge the likes of Spotify? Or will it become yet another digital streaming disaster in the mould of Nokia’s Comes With Music, which was finally closed earlier in the year. Only time will tell. However, it seems that the search for the missing business model within the music streaming sector is still alive and well, and that will surely please music lovers everywhere.
The Boinc website – www.boinc.com – is now up, and accepting applications for beta testers.