Blog Post

Microsoft’s Janus Players Warm Up For Christmas Launch

(sub. req.): (Updated) Reuters: MusicNow’s Rudin said the company is finalizing licensing with music labels and expects its portable service to launch in the third or fourth quarter. Neither MusicNow or Napster have determined pricing. Napster has said it will cost more than the current service’s $9.95 a month fee, but less than $20.

Microsoft’s Janus-DRM based music players will be launched this Christmas, and the industry is warming up for the novel music subscription scheme. I’ve covered Janus DRM in excruciating detail on this site (read our dedicated DRM section for more details)

Napster, Musicmatch, Loudeye, MusicNet and other Apple rivals say they plan to use the Microsoft technology beginning late this year or next year.

MSFT had a tough time convincing the music industry on Janus, but the economics work out for them. The way subscription revenue gets apportioned under the agreements between music companies and the services will give the record companies a payment — albeit a tiny one — each time a user listens to one of its offerings.


The DRM Section

This Hope Called Janus

Who’ll Be First With “Portable Subscriptions”?