iTunes rival launched
London - British pay-TV giant BSkyB said on Monday it will launch an online music service next week which offers consumers access to more than four million tracks, rivalling Apple's iTunes.
Sky Songs, which is paid for with a monthly fee, will offer users songs for download and for advert-free streaming - which allows unlimited listening to thousands of albums on computers via the web, BSkyB said in a statement.
The service, to be launched on October 19, will offer new releases and back catalogues from major music labels including EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner, and a large range of independent labels.
"Sky Songs will reach out to consumers who want legitimate digital services offering choice, ease of use and great value," BSkyB Chief Operating Officer Mike Darcey said in the statement.
"Offering legal access to digital music is a vital step in combating illegal downloading."
BSkyB will offer two different packages with a subscription of either £6.49 ($10.30) or £7.49 per month. Both include unlimited streaming that will not contain advertisements.
Sky Songs will compete with two major players in Britain's online music marketplace - Apple's dominant iTunes and Spotify, the Swedish music streaming website.
Spotify offers free music on demand with advertisements or advertising-free services for £10 a month.