Sky axes paid-for music service

BSkyB is understood to be closing down its Sky Songs subscription music service, which took on the likes of Spotify and Rhapsody, following poor take-up.
The offer bundled unlimited ad-free listening to a catalogue of 5 million songs, and five MP3s for £5 a month. Sky has told subscribers by email that the service will close on February 7, although the sign up page remains unchanged.
The service launched, after much speculation in October 2009. It is understood Sky Songs was hampered by its inability to offer an offline, mobile service, like rivals Rhapsody, Spotify and We7.
Virgin is believed to be in talks with Spotify to launch a joint service in the UK, as after two failed attempts it has yet to launch a music subscription scheme.
Back in 2008, the ISP was exploring a radical idea in which it would pay labels a licence fee, for every file they obtain over its broadband network, but labels pulled out. Last year Virgin said it would offer a more conventional service – unlimited MP3s for a monthly fee less than the cost of two albums – but it still only has Universal on board and the idea appears to have stalled.

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