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Virgin Media and Spotify Set to Launch Music Service

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In 2010, record companies earned almost 30% of their revenues from digital music. (Photo: Stock.xchng)
In 2010, record companies earned almost 30% of their revenues from digital music. (Photo: Stock.xchng)

BUSINESS

  • Virgin Media and Spotify finalize deal for unlimited digital music service
  • Virgin originally announced plans for this service in 2009
  • Sky launched a similar music service but axed it earlier this year

Virgin Media has finalized a deal with Spotify and will soon launch its long-awaited digital music service, a music industry executive told the media. The two will reportedly launch the unlimited subscription-based download service within the next three months, though neither of the two companies would confirm.

“The service will be launching imminently - definitely within the next three months,” the source told The Telegraph. “Virgin is very keen to roll out the service but only when it’s right.”

“Virgin is meeting with music label executives at the moment to discuss the finer details. The company feels like it has lost a bit of face, having failed to get all four music labels on board with its original unlimited subscription plan – and so wants to be double sure that it gets its music offering right the first time around.”

In June 2009, Virgin announced its intention to create an unlimited MP3 download service in the UK, which would be included in monthly internet packages. Universal signed up right away, but then the proposition fell apart and no further deals were announced.

Sky also tried to get in on the act when it launched its own digital music service in October 2009, but Sky Songs failed to draw sufficient user numbers and was discontinued earlier this year. Sky’s offer did not propose unlimited downloads as the Virgin/Spotify deal does, and this is reportedly causing delays as negotiations with record labels drag on.

Key Statistics: Digital Music Industry (source International Federation of the Phonographic Industry)

  • In 2010, digital music sales rose only 6% to $4.6 billion, slowing from 12% growth in 2009 and 25% in 2008.
  • Between 2004 and 2010 the world's recorded music industry fell by 31% in value.
  • In 2010, record companies earned almost 30% of their revenues from digital music, compared to 25% in 2009.

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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