EMI Sign Up to PlayLouder’s MSP

PlayLouder have announced the addition of EMI to their MSP (Music Service Provider) service. This initiative has been in the works for a long long time and has take a lot of effort to bring it to fruition (it will launch as beta later this year).

The basic principle is selling a broadband and music bundle to music buyers. Tiscali tried a similar thing a few years ago in conjunction with OD2 and had mixed success. One key difference here is that the service is being offered by a music provider rather than by an access provider. The other is that it tries to utilize some of the principles of file sharing by enabling subscribers to share DRMed content with other subscribers. File sharing is firmly established among the European online music audience (see this report for more details) and is showing no strong signs of disappearing, despite the best efforts of the music industry. More pertinently many file sharers are also avid music buyers. File sharing does not necessarily indicate lack of interest in paying. It is clearly performing a complimentary discovery role for many music buyers. Services like PlayLouderís MSP will give the opportunity to tap into this market. The avid file sharers who donít buy music are a more difficult proposition, especially considering many are school kids and students without their own broadband account.