Germany to launch music exchange service

Music production companies and distributors in Germany have agreed, after lengthy negotiations, to offer one of the world's first national music download services.

The service, code-named Phonoline, will allow customers to download music from German and international artists for a fee, via a delivery platform provided by Deutsche Telekom AG (DT), the German Phonographic Industry Association (BPW) said Thursday in a statement.

The BPW venture, to be launched in the third quarter, follows on the heels of a new pan-European pay-per-song service announced last week by Microsoft in collaboration with Italian ISP (Internet service provider) Tiscali SpA. The service, which can be accessed only through Microsoft's Windows Media Player 9 Series software, is itself a response to the success of Apple Computer's iTunes digital music store.

Rather than supplying music from a central Web site, Phonoline will rely on a network of online retailers to sell directly to consumers. A directory of all online retailers will be posted shortly on the Web site, according to the association.

DT will provide both the content delivery platform and the billing system. The German operator will offer users four ways to pay for music downloads: their DT phone bill, a credit card, a prepaid card or direct debit from their bank account.

BPW provided no pricing details. To be competitive, however, its new online music venture will have to offer music at prices near or below those that Microsoft's online unit, MSN, is offering customers via its MSN Music Club in the U.K. Tiscali, which has a music club in the U.K. as well as Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, will launch new versions of its service in September.

Tracks in the U.K. are priced at £0.75 (US$1.21) or £7.99 per album. However, those who choose to subscribe to the music clubs can download tracks cheaper, from as low as £0.62.

The German online music service comes as the music industry in the country saw half-year sales plummet 16.3 percent year on year. Particularly hard hit were CD sales, down 20 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period a year earlier.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?