Sony BMG: We, too, might offer a music subscription service

CEO says service would include unlimited access to label's digital catalog for a monthly fee. All music players welcome.

Looks as if the battle for elbow room in the music subscription market could get a tiny bit tougher if Sony BMG Entertainment follows through on plans to offer its digital catalog to subscribers.

In a story published Monday, the company's CEO, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that Sony BMG is working on a subscription service that would in many ways resemble the one contemplated by Apple, which reportedly has been discussing such a service with the four major music labels.

The basics of the proposed Sony BMG plan would include unlimited access to the label's digital library for a flat monthly fee of $9 to $12, and compatibility with all music players, including Apple's iPod, Schmidt-Holtz said, adding that it was possible subscribers "could keep some songs indefinitely--that they would own them even after the subscription expired." Another possible feature of the service: downloads via mobile phone.

No word, though, on when the service might be launched.

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