Very important music biz news coming from PaidContent.org over the subscription music debate. In the U.K. and Ireland, BSkyB will be launching an unlimited mp3 download and music streaming service on a subscription basis. They’ve already secured Universal’s catalog. But the big news is how that partnership is actually working: Universal itself is becoming a major shareholder.
The reports are very preliminary and there’s no description of the details of the subscription service. Other major labels haven’t been confirmed. But the mere fact that Universal is starting to invest in a subscription-based model is a major development for the changing face of the music industry. This may be an experiment that they’re running before taking on a larger plan. But it’ll still be an important development all the same.