The New York Times reports on a deal between MySpace and three of the four major music labels to develop a new music website
. Users will be able to stream songs for free, purchase downloadable tracks, and (possibly) pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited access. From the Times:
"Exact terms of the deal and details about the new site, like prices for downloaded music tracks, were not disclosed. But MySpace did say the site would offer songs free of digital rights management software or D.R.M., which is used to prevent illicit copying but can create technical hurdles for buyers. The songs would be playable on any portable music device, including Apple's iPod. For the music industry, the deal is partly born of desperation. In the face of widespread, escalating online piracy, music sales dropped to $11.5 billion in 2006 from a peak in 1999 of nearly $15 billion."