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"From premium radio to an entirely on-demand experience, Yahoo! Music Unlimited has assembled all the key elements to fulfill consumers' needs."
——Yahoo! Music GM David Goldberg
YAHOO! MUSIC UNLIMITED UNVEILED
World's Most-Trafficked Net Destination Invites Itself to the Subscription and Download Party
Yahoo! Music Group has released the beta version of its new ultra-hip music-listening experience by taking from all the different music services out there and adding the Yahoo! twist. The most-trafficked Internet destination worldwide has debuted Yahoo! Music Unlimited.  For just $4.99 a month for an annual subscription or $6.99 monthly, members can play tunes from a catalog of more than 1 million songs and transfer tracks to portable devices, as well as share and discover music via Yahoo! Messenger.

The Yahoo! Music Engine will provide access to a music download store where, for 99 cents, users can purchase individual tracks, while subscribers will be offered a discounted price of  79 cents per track. This allows CD burning, transfer onto portable devices and the ability to use on a total of five PCs.  Those not willing to cough up the five bucks a month can still download the Yahoo! Music Engine, which will give you 30-second streams, along with the music management feature, and the ability to pay for downloads.

Yahoo! Music General Manager David Goldberg says its service will be profitable with its pricing, though the company could eventually raise its fees. "We look at subscriptions as a way to get people to pay a little something for digital music as opposed to ripping their own CDs or stealing music," he says.  "From premium radio to an entirely on-demand experience, Yahoo! Music Unlimited has assembled all the key elements to fulfill consumers' needs. For a great value, users get to listen to as much music as they want, while utilizing superior innovations in playlist generation and community features to enrich and expand their music experience."

This appears to be the way music is heading and will continue to go. 

“It's a hugely aggressive move, a shot in the arm to the subscription notion," says David Card, an analyst at Jupiter Research. He predicts subscription revenue will be larger than downloads within a few years, from roughly equal shares today.

What separates this creation from the rest are many of the innovative things you can do. For instance, members will be able to view and listen to other members' playlists in a peer-to-peer like way via Yahoo! Messenger.

Best of all, the quality is 192k bps, which beats CD-quality audio and is near DVD quality.  (For those not familiar with what this means, iTunes downloads come at 128k bps, which is less than CD quality. This means that the frequency isn’t as sharp and listeners lose out on the quality and dynamics of the recording.) Also, members will receive personalized and constantly updated recommendations on music based on their listening habits.

The contact for the record companies is Head of Programming and Label Relations Jay Frank. He and his team are key in music selection, promotions and programming. They work very closely with labels to position their music in all Yahoo! Music products, including video, radio, live performances and now downloads and subscription.

Here's their contact info:

Jay Frank Head of Programming and Label Relations [email protected]

Damian Anderson Product Manager [email protected]

Dave DiMartino  Executive Editor [email protected]

John Lenac  Senior Music Director [email protected]

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