Irish ISP Eircom has announced plans to close its MusicHub music streaming and downloads service. It’ll shut down on 30 June, with Eircom not having announced the reasons why at this stage. When it launched in 2010 (Bulletin, 9-Dec-10) great things were expected of MusicHub. It offered streaming music to the ISP’s broadband customers for free, then charged €5.99 or €12.99 a month if they wanted to download 15 or 40 MP3s respectively. Non-customers paid €6.99 a month for streaming-only access then €11.99 for streaming plus 15 downloads or €22.99 for streaming plus 40 downloads. At the time of launch, there was a strong belief within music rightsholders that ISPs bundling music might be the next big leap forwards for the industry, despite previous disappointments in the UK from Sky Songs and Virgin Media’s never-launched unlimited downloads service. What to conclude from Eircom’s closure? Digital music doesn’t appear to be the great attracter of new customers or preventer of churn from existing customers that was previously hoped.
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