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Telstra unveils Aussie online music store

Only one label signed though...

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Australian telco Telstra is to open the continent's first online music service sometime before Christmas.

With a nod towards Apple's iTunes Music Store, Telstra plans to offer both single-track and album downloads. However, with only Warner Music signed up, the service's range of songs is likely to be limited.

A Telstra BigPond spokeswoman today told Australian IT that the telco has been "approached by other labels" and that it "expects other labels to make further contact with BigPond to discuss options for potential deals". In short, if you want to sell your songs here, come and talk to us. Hardly a pro-active approach, Telstra.

But then Telstra's interest in selling music appears more focused on boosting the number of punters who subscribe to its BigPond broadband offering, than establishing an online music business. The online store is even called BigPond Music.

The Telstra BigPond spokeswoman said that "special deals" and "significant discounts" will be offered to BigPond customers. Track purchases will be added to the subscriber's monthly bill.

How much will be added? BigPond wouldn't say, but it claims downloads will be "extremely economical". Australian IT cites "insiders" who say that tracks will be sold at around AUD 2 ($1.38) a pop. Whole albums will be priced below what it would cost to download all the tracks individually.

Songs will be offered in Windows Media format. ®

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