Sony BMG is considering launching a stand-alone subscription service for its catalogue of music. The company currently offers its songs DRM-free through Amazon MP3 in the States, but this would be a European offering too.

"We are working on an online music subscription service", Sony BMG CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

"The simplest option would be a flat rate under which a monthly payment would provide access to our entire music catalogue for all digital players, including Apple's iPod."

With a charge of around 6 to 8 euros per month (£4.70-6.25) for unlimited access, unlike most similar services, the possibility was mentioned that subscribers could get to keep songs after they end their subscription.

Schmidt-Holtz said that Sony BMG is currently in talks with "other major music distributors" and that cooperation agreements with mobile phone manufacturers are also in discussion.