Cabler brings digital music to subscribers

TOKYO — Sony Corp. on Thursday unveiled a music distribution system and equipment that, starting in May, will allow subscribers of Sky PerfecTV’s direct-to-home platform to buy digital music from a broadcasting channel.

Sony is calling the set-top box device PlusMedia Station and said the system will let users download CD-quality music. The set-top device will sell for 59,000 yen ($504).

The music can be recorded onto a minidisc, and Sony said its iLINK interface will allow for a pirate-proof distribution system.

A single will sell for about $1.28 and most of the titles will be from independent labels so as not to interfere with retail sales of artists on major labels.

Sony along with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Japanese network Fuji TV and computer software company Softbank are the major investors in Sky PerfecTV, which has over 1 million subscribers.

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