Friday, August 24, 2007

The Race to Free in France

This past week the French have hit on a trifecta of free music deals further bringing into focus the sign of times to come. Jockeying for the favor of broadband consumers, both French telco companies Neuf Cegetel and France Telecom have announced plans to provide free unlimited music downloads to subscribers for their respective "triple-play" internet, telephone and tv bundles. Neuf Cegetel's deal is with Universal Music and makes the service available immediately. France Telecom's response won't launch until 2008, but promises a wider selection than the nine pre-specified musical genres comprising Neuf Cegetel's free offer. For Neuf Cegetel customers to download music from genres not a part of the pre-specified nine there is an additional monthly subscription cost of EUR 4.99 ($6.99).

Almost simultaneous to the news above, the old has resurfaced as announcing its free and legal on demand streaming service as a result of a deal with French collection society, SACEM. The agreement compensates record companies and other claimants with monies from advertising revenues earned by the site. is available in 16 different languages

Is it now official that music has become a value-adding throw-in/enticement for other revenue generating services?

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