updated 10:35 pm EDT, Mon April 24, 2006
Skype enters online music
Ebay, following the launch of a new retail-like shopping service this week, may be preparing to enter the music download business through its Skype subsidiary and compete with Apple's iTunes. Skype has inked agreements with EMI Music Publishing and Warner Music Group to sell music from its internet store, according to Forbes.com. EMI said that the internet telephony company has rights to sell its songs and ring tones to its more than 95 million users. Skype, which does not yet have a formal internet music store, will reveal details later this week, but already sells generic ring tones for $1.20 each. While Ebay's Skype has permission to use its songs from the publisher's catalog for downloading, subscriptions and master-tones on a world-wide basis, the company must get permission from individual record labels such as Warner, according to the report. Skype could sell full versions of digital songs on a per-song or subscription basis to compete with iTunes, Napster, Microsoft MSN Music, Rhapsody, and Yahoo! as well as mobile operators such as Sprint and Verizon.