Sensing the disquiet in the UK about closed American download stores, Coca-Cola are to launch a paid-for download service. Like the drink the service is expected to go global. Hooking up with OD2, who already supply Tiscali, Freeserve, HMV, Tower Records BT/Dotmusic and MSN, Coke plans to offer 200,000 songs for paid download. Once again rock star Peter Gabriel pioneers a service (he set up OD2) 11 years after going totally independent with his Real World record label and studios.
Like Itunes for the Mac, there won't be a monthly fee.
Costs are 75pence, $1.13 or €0.99 depending on your location. Whole albums are pencilled in for £7.99 (matching CD prices at some online stores) or €12.49. Whether you can burn your downloaded track/album to CD is a permission the copyright holder has to grant or deny. Digital Rights Management will control this type of access, so you'll need to use Microsoft's Media Player 9.
Checking the charts in music magazine popular artists such as Justin Timberlake have hit the million-seller mark with their albums, piracy or not, and legalized downloads will only help these artists. Whatever the bleating from record labels, some investment in musicians who can play their instruments is always more appreciated by the UK public than legal downloads.