Paid download service sees BigPond jump into musical waters

Telstra on Thursday became the first ISP in Australia to offer paid music downloads after launching a service that has more record label support than its competitors.

Like competing services, lets customers search, preview, download and burn tracks using Windows Media format. Tracks are priced from $1.89, or $1.49 for BigPond subscribers.

However BigPond Music's strength is the catalogues of Sony and Warner Music, online for the first time, in addition to EMI and Festival Mushroom. This means the telco sells songs from popular artists Delta Goodrem (Sony) and Beyonce (Warner), while its Destra-aligned competitors are currently limited to EMI and Festival artists.

BigPond Music will soon have more than 250,000 tracks, according to Telstra. The telco claims to be in discussions with over 60 independent Australian record labels about bringing their catalogues online.

Other benefits of the service for BigPond customers include payment methods and free download capacity.

"BigPond Music is 'unmetered' for BigPond cable and ADSL customers who can download as many tracks as they want without this counting towards their monthly usage," said BigPond managing director Justin Milne.

"[Also], while all customers can use a credit card to pay for their music, BigPond customers can simply have the cost added to their BigPond or Telstra phone bill."