Omnifone scores music deal with HP

RIM is rolling out its BBM Music service into the UK

Cloud-based music provider Omnifone, which made waves in the mobile market in 2007 after striking a deal with Vodafone, expanded its offering on Monday through a partnership with HP.

The service provider launched a PC-based music offering, MusicStation Desktop, offering unlimited music in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

The service will be pre-installed on 16 HP models and will provide subscribers with access to millions of tracks from Universal Music, Sony Music, EMI and Warner Music International.

MusicStation costs £8.99 per month in the UK, or €9.99 elsewhere. Tracks are downloaded directly to the user’s PC over the internet for both online and offline playback (while the subscription is still active). Subscribers can also download and keep their favourite ten tracks forever in DRM free MP3 file format each month.

At the time of the Vodafone partnership in 2007, Rob Lewis, chief executive of Omnifone, took to task the “myopic” argument that “users don’t get anything for their money once they unsubscribe” with the claim that that for all the time they do subscribe, users have access to millions of tracks for a nominal fee.

Omnifone has music service deals with BSkyB, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, Hutchison Telecom and Telenor.

The deal with HP is also significant in that it paves the way for Omnifone to get its service onto devices in the burgeoning netbook market, devices which are increasingly being subsidised by mobile operators.

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