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Monday, January 25, 2010
HP to Challenge iTunes in Europe With MusicStation Download Service


Music services provider Omnifone today announced a partnership with HP to distribute the MusicStation Desktop unlimited music service on over 16 HP models across 10 European countries.

The service will provide unlimited access to millions of tracks from all four major music labels and leading independent labels, and will be preloaded on the entire range of new HP Pavilion, Compaq Presario and HP Envy models, featuring up to 14 days free trial of unlimited music access for every purchaser of HP PCs, the companies said.

MusicStation enables users of new HP PCs in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland to legitimately download, play and share millions of tracks on their computer for a monthly subscription of EUR9.99 (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, / GBP8.99 UK, / CHF14.95 Switzerland / 99SEK Sweden). Tracks are downloaded directly to the user's PC over the internet for both online and offline playback when subscribed to the service or in the free trial period. Tracks come in DRM?ed WMA format, and will remain playable only while users have an active subscription, which can be canceled at any time. MusicStation subscribers can also download and keep their favourite 10 tracks forever in DRM free MP3 file format each month.

Omnifone' music catalogue includes over 6.5 million tracks, according to Rob Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Omnifone.

"We look forward to extending our partnership onto even more PCs and territories, to ensure consumers have the ability to gain legitimate access to the world's music on every HP PC they purchase," continued Lewis.

"Starting today, HP PC users in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland can try MusicStation for free for up to 14 days, get access to millions of tracks, keep their favourite tracks permanently and share music and playlists with other MusicStation users," said Charl Snyman, Vice President, Personal Systems Group, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The new service is licensed by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music International.

HP believes that the new service has great opportunities to compete with Apple's iTunes, the world's largest digital music distributing service. Apple may be tempted to augment its per-track download store with a monthly unlimited-access package as the number of participants in this race grows. HP's computer sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa reach the 20 million piecies, offering HP's new music service greater chances to succeed.

MusicStation is available on the following HP PCs:

Laptops

- Compaq Presario CQ61, CQ71
- HP G61, G62, G72
- HP Pavilion dm3, dv3, dv6, dv7, dv8
- HP Envy 13, HP Envy 15

Desktops
- Presario CQ53
- Pavilion HPE-1, p63, s53


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