[qi:005] Gotta love that Gallic pride — especially when it comes from the executive suite of broadband service providers competing for their customers’ affection.
Yesterday, neuf Cegetel, a competitive broadband service provider, said it will offer about 150,000 songs and 3,000 videos from Universal Music Group (owned by Vivendi (V), another French company) for about five euros a month.
Today, not to be outdone, France Telecom’s (FTE) Orange France is looking to offer unlimited music downloads (from a much bigger catalog) for free! And here I was talking about music-becoming-a-commodity. It’s happening faster than I thought.
11 thoughts on “In France, Music Will Be Free”
Vive la France!
the point is that unless you keep neuf-cegetel as provider you will be able to grab music (not compatible with ipod), the mp3 has a microsoft DRM.
And “Free”, a french broadband service provider, have annouced a partnership with Deezer.com to offer a very large number of songs.
Free (Iliad) has also decided today to give free music to it’s subscribers via Deezer
Its interesting, b/c everything can’t become a commodity. When will commodization stop?
A few factual comments: the available catalog in Neuf’s offer is a (small) subset of Universal’s catalog, and the “free” offer only gives access to a genre determined subset of said subset. In order to access the 150k titles, you need to pay 4.99 a month. It’s a loss leader rather than a commodity.
As for Free’s response, it sounds to me like no response at all: deezer.com is available to all, and the press release quoted above describes no service that would be specific to Free users (the capacity to design and save playlists seems to be available by default on Deezer.com) Sounds more like a response because they have to say something.
Finally, it’s not surprising that FT/Orange would be working on something similar, but there’s a big gap between “we intend to” and an actual product. Wait and see, I guess.
Overall, it’ll be interesting to see where this goes, especially considering that Universal seems pretty unhappy with the iTunes near monopoly…
Living in France does have its advantages.