Virgin Media offers full Universal Music catalogue to subscribers

Virgin Media is offering broadband subscribers the opportunity to sign up to an unlimited music download service with Universal Music.

The ISP will allow subscribers to stream and download-to-own all of the record label’s back catalogue, including Girls Aloud (pictured), Amy Winehouse and Snoop Dogg, for an undisclosed monthly fee.

It said it was in talks with other record labels to add their content to the service ahead of the launch.

The service forms part of Virgin and Universal’s joint attempt to tackle piracy, which includes educating music fans, offering legal alternatives and temporary internet disconnection for persistent offenders.

It comes a week after new media age revealed research from Entertainment Media Research showing that subscription models which bundle digital entertainment, including music, with broadband packages could lower online piracy levels (nma 11 June 2009).

Neil Berkett, Virgin Media CEO, said, “In terms of both convenience and value, our new music service will be superior to anything that’s available online today.”

Feargal Sharkey, CEO of trade body UK Music, said, “We have long advocated the potential of ISPs and music companies to strike commercial deals and launch groundbreaking services. We would urge other ISPs to follow Virgin’s lead and create music partnerships that offer the consumer legal access to the full range of content.”

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