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Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Pressplay upgrades music service
Britney Spears
Britney Spears is available at Pressplay
Online music provider Pressplay, owned by music giants Vivendi and Sony, is relaunching an upgraded service which should make it easier for users to download tracks and copy them on to CD.

The relaunch marks a significant rethink in the music industry's attitudes to people copying music from the internet.


Our listeners are going to be able to listen to as much music as they want, when they want

Michael Bebel, Pressplay
Users will now be able to pay to copy songs from major artists, including Britney Spears and Shakira, onto recordable CDs and onto a variety of portable systems such as MP3 players.

Pressplay opened for business at the start of 2002 as Sony and Vivendi fought to prevent the tide of peer-to-peer music services.

It hoped to persuade people not to log on to free music download sites such as Napster because they do not pay royalties to artists or record companies.

But it ran into criticism that users could not keep any of the songs once they had unsubscribed to the service, giving no real incentive for people to pay money to listen.

Unlimited

MusicNet, which is the service jointly run by Time Warner, Bertelsmann and EMI, has also been accused of not offering what the consumer wants.

Pressplay did limit the amount of times a song can be burned - downloaded on to a CD - while Musicnet does not allow it at all.

Under the new service users will be offered unlimited music file streaming and downloading for about $10 (6.44) a month, although only Vivendi and Sony's catalogue will be available.

A more expensive service, about $18 (11.60), will allow users to copy music onto portable devices up to 10 times a month.

"This is a significant stride forward and a significant leap for the industry," said Michael Bebel, chief executive of Pressplay.

"Our listeners are going to be able to listen to as much music as they want, when they want."

The company is also hoping to wrap up a deal with Warner Music and Bertelsmann to offer tracks from their artists.



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10 Jan 02 | Entertainment
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