BBC to Launch Music Download Store

September 4th, 2008 at 12:00 am

bbc worldwide british broadcast company

According to Steve Jobs and virtually everybody else, iTunes (with the iPod) totally changed the way consumers buy and listen to music. The popularity of the mp3 players and downloadable music has definitely had an impact on CD’s and other in-store music sources. It’s also had a huge benefit to piracy.

Still, the online music store is now the largest source of music worldwide and iTunes is at the forefront. However, this all might change. True, the iTunes music store still has a limited supply of music even with deals with record labels. Hence there are other tracks unavailable (legally) on iTunes or anywhere else.

The BBC is the UK’s largest broadcasting network and often do artists play in their studios for publicity. This gives the BBC exclusive rights to rare and absolutely wonderful acoustic and live studio recordings. Moreover, the BBC also has exclusive rights to record and televise the Glastonbury Festival where artists flock to perform.

So, what’s the BBC to do with these precious recordings? The best thing is to sell them of course and what better way to do that than put up their own online music store like iTunes? None.

BBC Worldwide is developing a music download service, offering streamed-for-free and paid download works from its archive of music that bands have recorded for TV and radio in BBC studios. [CNET]

The BBC is not a stranger to this business of selling music. In the past, they have already released bonus tracks on CD’s that came from their exclusive recordings.

So far, major-label support for the BBC Worldwide project comes only from EMI, but Music Week reports that talks are under way with other major music publishers. A source also claimed that the earliest the service could launch is January 2009. [CNET]