Sony and Universal make downloading more attractive

The two big record companies Sony and Universal have started offering downloads at a price that is considerably lower than they calculated so far. They also want to offer the possibility to burn the tracks on a CD or play them on a portable device. The services are linked to music asp's Liquid Audio and RioPort

The two big record companies Sony and Universal have started offering downloads at a price that is considerably lower than they calculated so far. They also want to offer the possibility to burn the tracks on a CD or play them on a portable device. The services are linked to music asp's Liquid Audio and RioPort.

It seems that the record companies are crossing the activities of Pressplay and Musicnet. These two sites offer downloads for a fee and have been set up by the five major record companies. In addition to Sony and Universal, these are EMI, Warner Brothers and BMG. The American media is already openly in doubt about the success of these sites, which started at the end of last year.

The offering of individual downloads has been done for some time by the record companies. For example, Sony has a partnership with RioPort where music from the company is for sale, but the offer is limited and the price was relatively high. Recently came the publicity label Maverick, part of Vivendi, which offered a track of Meshell Ndegeocello as MP3-file for an amount of 99 dollar cents. That meant a price breakthrough, the record company then spoke about a test.

The test will be followed up. Universal will start offering tens of thousands of tracks this summer at a cost of 99 cents each, reports Reuters news agency. A full album will cost $ 9.99. The tracks can be downloaded via Liquid Audio, a company that offers music services to sites such as Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, CDNow and Barnes & Noble.

Sources within Universal confirm that the possibility is added to put the songs on a portable player. This is an application where, according to analysts, the success of paid music downloads is heavily dependent. During the launch of Pressplay and Musicnet there was criticism of the absence of this function, otherwise Musicnet also does not offer the possibility to burn the tracks on a CD.

Sony has been offering music through RioPort for the last two years, which, like Liquid Audio, offers a music service to various sites on an asp basis. RioPort supplies its services to MTV.com, among others. The record company reported that it will lower the prices for the tracks from $ 1.99 to $ 1.49. RioPort offers through the Burnitfirst.com service the possibility to download tracks and burn them on a CD, but the offer is limited.