Universal's Total music initiative may not be the iTunes killer it wants to be, but it definitely has reignited the discussion about music price points and sale vs. rental approaches.

UK-based "music service provider" Playlouder chimes in now with some interesting market research related to the idea that ISPs should pay for the music subscription and trading of their customers. Playlouder paid a market research company to ask 800 Britons whether they'd like to pay a flat fee to their ISP and in return get unlimited access to music via downloads, streaming and file sharing.

They would, according to a summary of the research published on the Playlouder Dev blog. From the summary:

"75% agreed that the MSP service is "a great idea"
61% agreed "it is unique"
32% said that they "have been waiting for a service like this'"


Asked how much they'd pay for such a service, most people replied that 10 British Pounds (about 20 weak US dollars) per month sound like a reasonable price. 70 percent also responded that they'd consider switching to another ISP to get access to such a service. Sounds like a good strategy to get new customers if you don't want to participate in the Telco-financed dumping price race.

Of course one should take all those results with a grain of salt, since they were directly paid for by Playlouder, and the company doesn't reveal the exact methodology of the research. And finally, people might be disappointed to find out that Playlouder's own internet and music access package is in fact not as unlimited as it wants to be. The company's current beta test is lacking music from most of the major labels. So far, only EMI signed up - and promptly forced Playlouder to protect their music with DRM.

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