Users will be able to download songs and listen to them as often as they want, as long as they keep paying the subscription fee. The services will include special music packages recommended by on-air personalities, along with options that focus on a particular artist or type of music.

CLEAR CHANNEL GETS INTO SUBSCRIPTION GAME

Station Websites in L.A., Chicago, Phoenix to Compete With Pressplay, MusicNet
Fresh from issuing lackluster third-quarter results comes word that Clear Channel is getting into the online music subscription game.

The radio giant will offer online music subscriptions through its stations’ websites in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, creating what eventually could become a rival to the Pressplay and MusicNet services planned by the major record labels.

FullAudio will provide the Clear Channel stations with the means to make the delivery of music online a reality for Clear Channel. The deal includes about 30 stations, with the first expected to be launched in January.

"It will definitely add to the listeners’ experience," Jerry Kersting, CFO of Clear Channel's radio division told The Wall Street Journal.

The radio conglom has not decided whether or not it will offer similar services tied to the rest of its roughly 1,200 radio stations.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Clear Channel will serve mainly as a "conduit" for FullAudio, Kersting said.

According to the Journal, to users, the service "will feel like that station's music club, and that's how it will be marketed," said FullAudio Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Copeland Gladwin.

Copeland said FullAudio has obtained a license to provide songs from Universal Music Group, a major addition to FullAudio's offerings. FullAudio also has an agreement with EMI, as well as major publishers. Gladwin said the company was in advanced talks with several others. The record labels' online licensing practices are under scrutiny by the Justice Department's antitrust division, which may help push them toward striking more deals.

The new Clear Channel offerings will cost about $5 to $15 a month, Gladwin said. Users will be able to download songs and listen to them as often as they want, as long as they keep paying the subscription fee. The services will include special music packages recommended by on-air personalities, along with options that focus on a particular artist or type of music.

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