Sky has today announced that it will launch a digital music service for UK consumers on October 19th, 2009.
The service, dubbed Sky Songs, will feature new releases and back catalogues from all four major labels.
Hoping to topple Apple's iTunes as the leader in the digital music marketplace, Sky Songs will feature a subscription-based service similar to Microsoft's U.S.-only Zune Marketplace.
At launch, two subscription options will be available. A £6.49 monthly subscription will allow users to download and keep a single album or 10 songs, in addition to unlimited streaming of over four million songs. The top-end subscription, priced at £7.99 per month, provides users with access to unlimited streaming, and the option to permanently download an album or 15 individual songs.
Ensuring it has all bases covered, Sky Songs will also allow consumers to purchase music on a track-by-track basis, with songs said to be priced from 65p. To celebrate the launch, Sky has announced that existing Sky Broadband customers "will receive a free downloadable album worth £6.49".
Sky hasn't yet revealed any details regarding the bit rate of its music library.
Mike Darcey, Sky’s Chief Operating Officer, had this to say:
Our music partners bring an outstanding catalogue and unrivalled expertise that complements Sky’s strengths in content distribution. Sky Songs will reach out to consumers who want legitimate digital services offering choice, ease of use and great value. Offering legal access to digital music is a vital step in combating illegal downloading.
Sky Songs will be available on Monday October 19th at: http://songs.sky.com/