UBC Media plans to launch a new service that will allow radio listeners to instantly download songs to a computer or mobile phone, allowing for impulse-driven media purchases.
The company said that it would launch its Digital Music Downloading (DMD) service in London early in 2007. The service will be available throughout the UK in March.
The DMD service will initially feature five streaming radio stations. Users can download songs in real time to both their home systems and specially-equipped mobile devices.
The service uses prepaid credits and charges ₤1.25 per song. Apple's iTunes store charges 79p per download.
The company said it has secured licensing deals with all four major record labels, as well as the PPL and MCPS licencing organisations.
Currently, the only mobile device that is equipped to support the DMD service is Virgin Mobile's Lobster 700 TV. The company hopes that manufacturers will begin selling more devices that support the service next year.
The music download service sends each song as an encrypted audio file alongside the radio broadcast over an internet connection. Because of the limited mobile bandwidth and associated costs, at launch UBC will offer only five radio stations.
The company plans to grow out its station line-up through software that transmits downloads directly through a home internet connection rather than a cellular network.
The DMD service was first demonstrated in November of 2005 at an event in London. In August, the company conducted a month-long trial of the service with Birmingham radio station Heart 100.7.
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