Beats Big Players To Music Downloads, by Garry Barker
16th January 2004
Telstra stepped into the online music business yesterday,
launching Australia's first large-scale legal download
Music is the second player in what is expected to
become an area of hot competition for the nearly $1
billion-a-year recorded music market.
smaller Destra service was launched last month. Other
companies, including Ninemsn and Apple, are expected
to enter the fray soon.
customers will have automatic access to the music
site, which offers more than 250,000 music tracks.
They will pay $1.49 per track for most songs, and
will be charged through their normal monthly bill.
Other customers will be charged $1.89 per track, paying
up-front by credit card.
will have to use Microsoft's Windows Media Player
version 9, a restriction that effectively shuts out
users of the most popular digital music player, Apple's
iPod, and also ignores music download software from
Music users will be able to burn tracks three times
to CD and load them twice into portable digital music
players, which must also be compatible with Windows
Media Player rather than the MP3 format that is by
far the most common.
Telstra site will soon face fierce competition. Apple's
iTunes Music Store, now only accessible to US users,
is expected to be available in Australia in the next
few months. Ninemsn, jointly owned by Microsoft and
the Packer organisation, is due to launch its music
site within weeks.
managing director, Justin Milne, said the music library
was expected to grow to 400,000 tracks within days.
agreements were in place with TimeWarner, Sony, EMI
and Festival Mushroom Records. The company was negotiating
with other major groups and 60 independent labels.
Milne said the development of reliable software to
protect the copyright of the music companies had been
critical in persuading record companies to join the
legal online music business.
future scenarios Analyses by Paul Budde: 22nd
Wilding, Communications Law Centre - 18th July 2003
Robertson, Media Manager, Australian Broadcasting
Authority - 4th September 2003
Tien, Senior Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
- 25th July 2003
Tripp, Publisher of the AustralAsian Music Industry
Directory & CEO of IMMEDIA! - 14th October 2003