Blog Post

Microsoft to Launch European Music Site

Microsoft is launching a European pay-as-you-go (a la carte) music-download service modelled on the iTunes service, in collaboration with Britsh company OD2. From Thursday, PC users in western Europe will be able to legally download any of 200,000 songs from 8,500 artists for 0.99 euros (75 pence or $1.12) (see below on pricing) each, using Microsoft’s Windows Media Player software.

This represents a 25 percent discount from most other European subscription services, according to a Reuters story.

Besides WMP, the service will be available through MSN Music Club, Microsoft’s subscription service, and a similar offering from Tiscali, the Italian-based internet service provider.

It launches with an English, French and German language versions. Spanish and Italian versions will launch in the ensuing months. More OD2 partners are expected to join the pricing scheme shortly, OD2 Chief Executive Charles Grimsdale said, in the Reuters story.

Microsoft would not comment on Wednesday on when it planned to launch a similar music download service in the US.

Pricing of tracks: Like BuyMusic.com, pricing of music is not consistent, according to BBC: “Many tunes are priced at 75p, with more popular songs at 99p and “gold” singles at £1.19. Gold tracks are new singles, available as soon as they are sent to radio stations – up to six weeks before the CDs reach shops.”