Windows Media Music Services Arrive in Europe
As numerous companies clamor to reign supreme in the music subscription space, On Demand Distribution (OD2) and Microsoft have partnered to bring the new version of OD2's music platform to consumers in Europe.
Based on Windows Media 9 Series, OD2 will power the MSN Music Club and Tiscali Music Club with downloads of individual songs from the five major labels and independent artists. OD2's music catalog currently stands at over 20,000 tracks by 8,500 artists.
"Both these services let users discover, download and manage their music collections through Windows Media Player 9 Series," said Charles Grimsdale, CEO of OD2.
MSN Music Club is available now in the United Kingdom and offers songs at £0.75 (€0.99) per track, prices similar to Apple's iTunes Music store in the United States. Full albums will run £7.99 (€12.49).
Boasting the same pay-as-you-go pricing model, Tiscali Music Club is set to launch this September in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
"With MSN Music Club and Tiscali Music Club offerings easily accessible through Windows Media Player 9 Series, consumers can seamlessly search, browse, download, organize and play tracks as well as take their music with them on more than 50 types of portable music devices, or burn copies onto CD," said Jonathan Usher, director of Microsoft's Windows Digital Media Division.
A subscription offering from both services will also be available, which will reward users with slightly lower prices for individual songs. Details of the music subscriptions have not yet been announced.
All songs from OD2 are encoded using Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Series audio and are protected with Windows Media Digital Rights Management technology.