Danish telco TDC has announced the launch of a subsidized subscription service that will “offer consumers unlimited music downloads ‘bundled’ with private broadband or mobile subscriptions, at no extra cost.” TDC broadband and mobile customers will automatically be able entitled to access the music offering free of charge. At first sight PLAY appears to be a predominately PC and mobile centred experience, though it’s not immediately obvious whether you can utilize both platforms unless you subscribe to both broadband and mobile. I’ll be getting further details from TDC soon.
Play is essentially a tethered download service, with a download store incorporated. Crucially access to downloaded tracks expires when the broadband or mobile subscription ends. This gets to the crux of the business proposition for TDC. Danish Online household penetration is near saturated and will grow by just 2 percentage points in 2008. Similarly nearly 90% of those online households already have broadband and this share will grow also by just a few percentage points. In short the broadband market is saturated. This offering is differentiation with a predominate view to retention. However the label licenses have significant costs associated with them so TDC will have to be seeking to recoup some share of the costs (advertising?) as music alone is not enough to differentiate in the fiercely competitive world of home broadband.
It’s a innovative looking service (though full portability could be an issue) and is one of a few such offerings that have been in the pipes for some time. To understand where it fits in the future of digital music read our latest report on Next Generation Music services.
P.S. TDC assure me that despite the fact the service goes live at one minute past midnight that this is not an April Fools.