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Popular Acts to be Heard in New Service

Wednesday 23 July 2008 @ 16:30 - GMT

Sky has embarked on an online music platform in conjunction with Universal Music.

A monthly subscription will give subscribers access to Universal's entire catalogue, including artists such as Elton, U2, Amy Winehouse and The Killers..

Sky has also said that other major and independent music companies will be added in due course.

"It is clear that there is huge demand for online music," said Mike Darcey, chief operating officer of BSkyB.

"We aim to offer an easy and affordable service for all UK music fans, while ensuring that artists are properly rewarded for their creativity."

Subscribers will have the option of streaming songs on-demand for immediate listening or downloading tracks for playback at any time.

Tracks will be available as DRM-free MP3s allowing customers to play them back on any compatible device, including iPods, MP3 players and mobile phones.

"The new Sky service will provide a compelling music experience built for the ever growing digital appetite of music fans," declared Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group International.

The online music service will be operated by a new joint venture in which Sky will be the majority shareholder.

The new service is scheduled to launch later this year, but exact dates and pricing are still unknown.