Two years after UK ISP Virgin Media first announced its plans to offer a digital music service, it seems that a deal may finally be coming to fruition. And the deal would see Virgin Media team up with Spotify and four record companies.
Despite Virgin Media officially announcing a partnership with Universal to offer ‘an unlimited music download subscription service’ way back in 2009, its proposals seemingly did not attract the backing of the other major labels and the plans were shelved.
Rumors of a Virgin Media/Spotify partnership have abounded for the best part of a year, but as The Guardian reports today, it seems that an announcement could be imminent. It’s thought that Virgin has had to agree terms individually with Universal Music, EMI, Sony Music and Warner Music, and they potentially have the power to prevent any deal with Spotify materializing.
If the finer details are sorted, it’s thought that Virgin Media could launch a limited trial of its service some time over the summer, with a full launch later this year.
We reported on Sky’s digital music service – Sky Songs – closing last December, a year after it was launched as a competitor to iTunes and Spotify. Sky noted that it was unable to reach a large enough user-base, something that Virgin seems to have factored into its own pending service.
Whilst it may be a lot less ambitious than launching its own unique service, it’s certainly a lot easier for Virgin to piggyback off an existing, successful and proven platform such as Spotify, and this could see Virgin succeed where Sky failed.