Popular music recommendation service iLike launched a music download service this afternoon, offering users MP3 downloads for $0.89 to $1.29 per song. Previously the service only offered users the ability to sample 30 second clips of songs, or restricted full streaming via a partnership with Rhapsody (now phased out).
Rumors of the music store were first reported by CNET’s Greg Sandoval last month. Until now iLike has offered downloads from Amazon and iTunes. Those options remain.
The service is rolling out now on iLike (I was able to purchase a song), and should be available to all U.S. users by end of day, says iLike. iLike applications on iGoogle, Facebook, Bebo and other platforms will also be available “soon” says the company for U.S. users.
In an email exchange, iLike CEO Ali Partovi said:
We’re enabling the millions of music fans who discover and share music on iLike to purchase songs in-page directly from iLike. Our solution provides a smooth, immediate in-page purchase experience. You can sign up, enter your credit card, and download the music you just bought — all without ever leaving the web page you were on when you discovered the song.
We’re making it easier and more immediate for music fans to buy MP3s as an online on-Web activity. iTunes already provides a great music buying experience inside a media player, and we’ll continue offering our users the option to jump off iLike to purchase from iTunes. At the same time, we’re filling a void by providing a faster way to make impulse music purchases on the web. Our social features and integration into all the major social networks will create a unique music discovery and purchasing experience for music fans across the Web.
The iLike in-page download solution was achieved via direct deals with major labels and a relationship with MediaNet to support the back end fulfillment and provide indie label catalogs. PayPal is providing billing support.
Going forward we’ll continue to enhance our download service, which is currently in Beta, as well as making it available on other leading third party websites where iLike is embedded. Our goal over time is to offer music fans the ability to impulse buy in-page from wherever they are.
In other recent news about iLike, the company is rumored to be raising new capital in an unusual transaction designed to push out Ticketmaster, an investor since 2006.
Images from the purchase flow are below: