Major record labels team up with HP to provide unlimited music for Europeans

In their ongoing fight to combat online music piracy, major record labels have teamed up with HP, the largest computer manufacturer in the world, and Omnifone, a company specializing in cloud-based unlimited music services, to give birth to a European-based music store that will compete with Apple's iTunes.

The service is called MusicStation and will be available to customers who purchase (one of 16 different models of) new HP PCs in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, announced Omnifone on January 25.

Consumers purchasing HP-branded computers will have unlimited access to millions of tracks distributed by the four major record companies and leading independent music labels for a monthly fee.

Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music International are among some of the major record labels to offer their music on a monthly subscription-based model.

"Universal is working closely with PC manufacturers to support the introduction of legitimate music access across mainstream connected consumer electronics," said Rob Wells, senior vice president, Digital, Universal Music Group International. "With its huge scale and user base, HP's 10 country introduction of Omnifone's MusicStation unlimited music service for the PC will help encourage legitimate access to digital music content from Universal Music and all the other major and independent labels."

New users will be given a 14-day free trial period in which they can download tracks over the internet to their computer for later playback or can be streamed from the cloud.

Consumers who choose to sign up for the service will be able to download and permanently keep up to 10 DRM-free tracks per month. The service will cost £8.99 in the UK, €9.99 in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Spain, CHF14.95 in Switzerland and 99SEK in Sweden.

"We look forward to extending our partnership onto even more PCs and territories, to ensure consumers have the ability to gain legitimate access to the world's music on every HP PC they purchase," said Rob Lewis, CEO of Omnifone.

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