updated 09:30 am EST, Mon January 25, 2010
HP MusicStation to run on Omnifone
HP today said it will launch a music subscription service on its computers in Europe. A computer-based version of MusicStation will follow the model of services like the Zune Pass and give customers unlimited access to the music catalog but will give away 10 tracks to keep each month. About 16 HP PCs will carry the subscription, which will cost 10 euros (about $14) per month.
The deal is a mirror to a US deal with RealNetworks for Rhapsody on American PCs but is potentially more significant in Europe. Apple's iTunes has less influence in the continent, where unlimited services like Spotify and mobile music as a whole have greater market share. MusicStation already operates in Europe, but most of its business is based on phone downloads, where Apple has only recently entered with iPhone downloads over 3G.
Both HP and Omnifone are counting on the larger volume of HP's PC sales to help tip the balance, though MusicStation and most competitors have struggled despite iTunes being a strictly optional download on most Windows PCs.