TeliaSonera Gets on Mobile Music Subscription Bandwagon

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TeliaSonera is offering its mobile and PC users an unlimited music download service for 99 Swedish kronor (US$12) a month, after months of free access, it said on Monday.

Subscribers to Telia Musik will get access to a library of songs from EMI, Universal, Warner and independent record labels.

The size of the library is more than 3 million songs and growing, and all songs are copyright protected using DRM (digital rights management).

Data traffic for the mobile music downloads in Sweden is included in the monthly fee.

The service will also be launched in other markets, including Norway, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania. TeliaSonera has no official launch dates, but it will happen soon, according to a statement.

TeliaSonera will compete with Sony Ericsson and Telenor, which together launched in Sweden PlayNow plus, which also gives subscribers access to a music library for a fixed monthly fee but doesn't use DRM.

PlayNow plus will begin to go global next year, said Sony Ericsson at the time of the launch in September.

Nokia has chosen a different path and is launching its Comes with Music service without the backing of operators, but the idea is the same: bundling music and phones.

Selling music bundled in with other products is one of the three major trends in music distribution that has started to take off this year, but will really make an impact during 2009, according to Ian Henderson, vice president, EMEA Digital Music Development at Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

The other two trends are a la carte downloads without DRM and free, ad-supported music, according to Henderson.

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