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British Telecom bows online service

Music site key in helping co. move subs to broadband

British Telecom has entered the crowded and contentious online-tune market, bowing subscription music service Dotmusic on Demand using the tech backbone of U.K. online-distribution firm OD2.

Service is the linchpin of the Blighty communications giant’s efforts to switch its Internet-access customers over to broadband. AOL Time Warner recently made a similar move on its America Online service, launching its version of the label-backed MusicNet subscription plan.

Dotmusic will offer subscribers a library of more than 150,000 digitized tracks from major labels BMG, EMI, Universal Music and Warner Music covered under OD2’s royalty licenses, as well as a host of independent labels.

Gabriel’s deal

Users will get open access to music streaming and downloading for a monthly fee of £10 ($16), or a more limited offering for $8. Dotmusic subscribers can also burn downloaded tracks on to a blank CD on a limited basis.

OD2, which is co-financed by artist Peter Gabriel, cut a similar deal earlier this year with Italian Internet-access firm Tiscali. Company had previously taken heat from labels and artists’ orgs in Europe for advertising on the free file-swapping network Kazaa.

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