Comcast is in discussions with partners to offer a music streaming service to its customers as an à la carte offering, we’ve heard from multiple sources. For an additional monthly charge of $5 or more, users will be able to stream on demand music online via a website and on their TV via their cable box.
For the last 18 months a Danish ISP called TDC has been offering customers in that country the ability to stream music online as part of their basic ISP packages ranging from $47 to $65 per month. From what we’ve heard from our friends in Denmark, the service is very popular.
The Comcast service would offer users the ability to stream music without any additional charges. Services like MySpace Music, Spotify and MOG (and the late iMeem) offer similar services today, but not through the cable box.
In the past we’ve said that the music industry’s last stand will be a music tax, and they’ll aim for the ISP’s when they finally try to convince governments to do it. Comcast’s planned service isn’t a music tax, and presumably it will be an optional add on to normal Comcast ISP and cable TV services. Still, I can see a time in the not too distant future that we’re all paying $5/month for music via our ISPs. Whether we choose to or not.