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News |  09 Aug 2007 14:49 |  By RnMTeam

MSN to stream five WorldSpace stations

MUMBAI:MSN India has launched a paid service for five WorldSpace satellite radio stations on its website.At a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday, both companies announced that the service for the five stations - Farishta ( Hindi Film Classics), Sparsha ( Kannada) , Spandana(Telugu), Gandhaar ( Hindustan Classical) and Shruti ( Carnatic Music) will be available online at at USD 9.9 per month.

Targeted primarily at the non resident Indian population which actively seeks what is currently not supplied with legal online music, the WorldSpace tie-up is also part of MSN`s ongoing focus on its non-core competencies - entertainment and education. "After impacting the digital workstyle of people, we now want to impact the digital lifestyle of people," says Microsoft`s India country manager, online service group Jaspreet Bindra.

"The net is evolving as a more mature medium, and hence we are going against the trend of illegal music that`s currently going round," he said, referring to the monthly outgo of approximately Rs 500 plus a broadband connection of 64 kbps that is required to subscribe to the service .

"We are the only legal site offering streaming music and we pay all the copyright fees", points out WorldSpace India`s senior advisor, content and programming, Velu Shankar. "If any kind of music is to survive, the musicians need to be paid."

WorldSpace currently has 1,70,000 subscribers in India on its offline service.

The five stations to be streamed on MSN in the first phase were selected on the basis of the music genres not currently available online.

The proposed service may face a few teething troubles however. The service offers a trial registration period of 24 hours per user. But it has still not provided to tackle a large number of dummy registrations that might flood the service. Also, since the service aims to simplify the logging in prices with just a login name and password, an illegal sharing of ID`s could also limit fresh registrations.