Independent music company FullAudio Corp. on Wednesday launched MusicNow, the latest digital music service to enter the race to woo music fans from the tempting free, song-swapping services inspired by Napster.
Boasting an easy-to-use magazine-like format, FullAudio, which has been developing the service for several years as it has obtained licensing from the big five major labels, said that MusicNow is designed around 36 channels.
“MusicNow is on the forefront of a dramatic market paradigm shift beyond the labor-intensive ‘search and browse’ database model developed by Napster,” said Scott Kauffman, president and chief executive officer of Chicago-based FullAudio, which is owned by a group of venture capital firms.
The service is available at (http://www.musicnow.com) and through Charter Communications Inc., Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media Player.
MusicNow’s 36 lifestyle channels include premium radio, programmed song collections, entire albums and collections by leading artists and hosted audio programs.
FullAudio said that unlike other digital music services to date, which have been structured like massive databases, its service has a music magazine-like format.
MusicNow includes more than 200,000 songs from all five major labels – including AOL Time Warner, EMI Group Plc, Bertelsmann AG, Vivendi Universal Universal Music and Sony Corp. as well as independent labels Koch and Sanctuary.
MusicNow offers two tiers of subscriptions, ranging from $4.95 a month for premium radio to $9.95 a month for premium radio plus unlimited conditional downloads available for on-demand play online and offline for the duration of the subscription, as well as 99 cents per song permanent downloads that can be burned to CD or transferred to portable devices.