Microsoft Walks From Record Label Talks

By Jon Newton 10/05/05

Bill and the Boyz have jacked it in with EMI, Sony BMG, Warner and Universal, the members of the Big Four record label cartel.

Microsoft, a cartel all by itself, has been thinking about licensing tracks from the Big Four so it could start its own download subscription service. Under it people, would have been expected to pay monthly fees for digital tracks playable on systems compatible with Windows Media. The songs would vanish as soon as punters stopped paying.

Not surprisingly, music lovers are staying away in droves from the mp3 rental sub-services which have been launched so far by the likes of Napster and RealNetworks.

Jon Newton

The picture would be entirely different if Microsoft got into the game, but talks have now broken off because the two monopoly groups couldn’t agree on royalty rates, says Reuters, quoting the Wall Street Journal.

“According to several people briefed on the matter, the labels separately were seeking royalty payments of $6 to $8 per user, per month,” it says.

The failure means Microsoft will, “indefinitely postpone a launch, according to two of the people close to the situation.”


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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