After Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) aborted plans to launch a legal P2P music service powered by Playlouder MSP, the technology vendor’s offering may now resurface on the Isle Of Man.
Virgin was all set to launch Virgin Music Unlimited, which would compensate rightsholders for tracks downloaded between peer-to-peer users, but got jitters over last-minute label concerns. Now Playlouder told Billboard it’s spoken with the island’s government, which wants to make a name for itself by ushering in a similarly radical proposal.
Isle Of Man inward investment director Ron Berry announced to the world’s music biz at Midem last month that the region wanted ISPs there to offer open-access P2P downloads for a blanket fee. Playlouder’s Paul Hitchman told Billboard he’s spoken with Berry. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – stung by the collapse of the Virgin deal, Playlouder has been taken its idea to several ISPs around the world.
Meanwhile, the slow progress in ISPs’ music initiatives creeps onward, with Sky having confirmed this month it’s working with unlimited music subs provider Omnifone to power its still-unlaunched music service. It won’t be as radical as legal P2P, it will involve monthly subscriptions and it may yet come to fruition – if Sky, which has struck a JV with Universal for the enterprise, can encourage other labels to come aboard.