Report: UMG Exploring A Plan Called 'TotalMusic'
September 12, 2007 at 5:38 AM (PT)
With CD sales down, labels are entertaining a number of fresh sales scenarios. DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS reports that UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP is exploring a new possibility, one that modifies the subscription-based music concept currently offered by companies like NAPSTER and RHAPSODY.
The more comprehensive subscription plan, called TOTALMUSIC, would require buy-in from ISPs and mobile access providers. According to numerous executives familiar with the plan, it would also force opt-in among existing ISP subscribers, a structure that automatically bumps monthly access charges in exchange for a subscription-based music plan.
The forced opt-in may be dealing the most serious blow to the discussions. One source noted that UNIVERSAL has faced difficulty rallying ISPs around the concept, largely because of the forced bump in monthly access fees and the lack of billing transparency. Sources also noted that other labels would have to agree to various terms, pricing, and contract points, a complicated and difficult process.