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As if it weren’t clear from their recent memorandum of understanding with the BPI and government, the UK’s biggest ISPs are actively looking to create commercial music services that would replace current illegal downloading. Music retailer 7digital says some of them have approached it about creating new subscription offerings like that planned by Sky and Universal.
“We have been approached by several ISPs quite recently,” CEO Ben Drury told paidContent:UK. “Some want a standard white label service, but some want to bundle content in with their subscriptions. We’ve had interest from the big six as well as some of the others.”
In response to the supposed demand, 7digital, which already runs several white label stores as well as its own consumer storefront, is itself actively touting its services that would let ISPs offer both downloads and streaming to customers, either absorbed in to their monthly bill or – as is likely to be the case with Sky – as an additional monthly fee.
Drury’s revelation confirms that ISPs may be serious about their commitment to end illegal downloads on their network – if they can convince freeloaders to stop, they may entice them to new subscription-music offerings. “It’s not that difficult to do,” Drury said. “We know from IP addresses whether the person is on the ISP’s network or whether they’ve signed up to the service. There’s been a big shift at the labels and ISPs, who originally weren’t interested in providing content.” Some of the ISPs already take similar services from OD2.
Ben Drury will be speaking at our EconMusic conference at London’s Natural History Museum on September 23
(Photo: Jennifer Olmos, some rights reserved)