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Peter Gabriel powers Tiscali music downloads

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Tiscali has joined up with artist and producer Peter Gabriel to flog music online.

The service will be available from mid December and will enable users to rent or buy tracks from Mr Gabriel's digital music distribution company - OD2 - which was launched earlier this year.

Essentially a massive music library containing thousands of tracks from record companies including BMG, EMI, Telstar, Mushroom, Realworld Records and V2, the service gives punters access to music online while ensuring artists get paid.

Said Charles Grimsdale, co-founder of OD2: "This service means that people can quickly get access to music digitally in preference to ripping it off."

Punters can get 25 tracks a month for around £5 - or 60 tracks a month for £9.99. There's also the option to buy individual tracks (which could cost anywhere between 99p and £2.00 each) and albums.

With the world music market said to be worth around $40 billion, it's estimated that digital downloads could be worth as much as six per cent of this in the next three to five years.

However, in August, research group Gartner, cast doubt over whether punters were actually prepared to pay for online music.

It found that only half of those surveyed used their PCs to listen to CDs and only a quarter listened to music that had been downloaded from the Net. Whether this group is prepared to part with their cash remains to be seen.

Renato Soru, chairman and CEO of Tiscali, explained that when it came to media content, the true moneymaking potential of the Internet had yet to be truly realised.

"But it is fantastic for the distribution of digital content - digital music," he said, at a press conference in London today .

But what about the Internet sector as a whole? Is Mr Soru concerned by the sluggish roll-out of broadband in Europe?

It seems not.

"I am not frustrated by the pace of broadband [roll-out]," he says. As far as he's concerned, it's not Tiscali's job to be a trail-blazing broadband service. Instead, he wants Tiscali to fill the space already created by the Internet revolution. With more than seven million users in Europe Tiscali has plenty of opportunity to generate revenue from this customer base.

Broadband will come and when it does, Tiscali will respond accordingly, he said. ®

Online adults won't pay for music downloads
Peter Gabriel opens music download service

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