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Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Report: Sony BMG Mulling Online Music Subscription Service

The CEO of Sony BMG Music Entertainment said that the company is developing an online music subscription services that would give users unlimited access to its music and be compatible with a host of digital music players.

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published Monday, chief executive Rolf Schmidt-Holtz was quoted as saying the company is "working on an online music subscription service" but he did not offer a timeline for its unveiling.

As for costs to subscribers, the newspaper quoted him as saying that the "simplest option would be a flat rate" fee per month of around 6 to 8 euros, or US$9 to US$12, for unlimited access to Sony BMG's entire music catalog and that the downloads would be compatible with all players, including Apple's ubiquitous iPod.

He said that it was "even possible that clients could keep some songs indefinitely, that they would own them even after the subscription expired."

Schmidt-Holtz was quoted as saying the unit was in talks with other major music distributors but did not disclose with whom and added that it was possible mobile phone operators could be brought on board, with the aim of letting users download their songs to their cell phones.

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