Datz Music Lounge, where those 100 pounds can buy you unlimited access to DRM-free MP3s for one year. According to Music Week, Datz features about 2 million tracks from EMI, Warner, Beggars Group, and The Orchard. While the service is encumbered by technical problems like having to use a USB dongle, as well as a relatively limited selection of songs, we can't help but wonder whether this all-you-can-eat plan for DRM-free MP3s points towards the future of the digital music business.If you live in the U.K. and you have 100 British pounds to spare, you can now subscribe to the
For now, Datz is only available in the U.K. and users will have to buy a boxed retail package with a CD and the USB dongle from either Sainsbury's or Datz's own site. One more negative for the service is that it doesn't have a licensing agreement with either Universal or Sony, leaving it with a relatively limited music selection compared to more traditional subscription services like Rhapsody or Napster.
At about $160 a year, Datz' plan is comparable to most subscription services, though the high upfront cost and limited selection might make quite a few potential subscribers think twice about the value of this new service.
Mark Mulligan from Jupiter Research argues that Datz is a big deal - not because it might become a market leader itself, but because it has laid a licensing groundwork for the rest of the industry.
Indeed, it will be interesting to see if other services will offer similar all-you-can-eat plans in the future and if the music industry as a whole will be willing to go along with this.
At the end of the day, it is good to see yet another new business model for music services and that at least some of the labels are willing to experiment with new licensing models as well.