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Virgin Media ponders Spotify-style music streaming service

# 3 March 2011, 11:12 by Chris T

Virgin Media is considering scrapping its plans to offer unlimited music downloads, in favour of a streamed offering similar to that provided by Spotify.

The company’s head of music, Richard Wheeler, hinted at the change of direction during a digital media conference hosted by the Financial Times in London on Wednesday.

During a brief update on the company’s music download plans he told delegates that negotiations with content providers were “in a positive place”, but admitted progress had been slow.

He suggested that he no longer believes VM’s service needs to offer unlimited downloads, claiming that music lovers had become accustomed to simply streaming or caching music to listen to on mobile devices. And he has left open the possibility that VM would partner with an established provider such as Spotify or We7 rather than try to build such a service by itself.

Virgin’s original proposal was for a service allowing its subscribers to download an unlimited number of MP3 music tracks. But it has failed to conclude deals with any content provider other than Universal, which has been onboard from the outset.

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