Official music downloads on the way

To counter the threat of ‘illegal’ music download sites, the big record companies have finally decided to get into the act and are expected to launch their own download sites very soon.

Universal and Sony are planning to offer music downloads at a very cheap price, as low as US99c for singles, in competition to the now bankrupt Napster and new challengers Kazaa, Morpheus and iMesh.

The new sites will mirror the record companies current business model of selling music, but the model may not be successful in the ‘free’ world of the net. Record companies could perhaps learn some new tricks from alliances with the radio industry, which uses different business models to make money from music and entertainment in the ‘free to air’ environment.