Unlimited Music Could Make Online Piracy History Says Research

Listen as much as you want schemes like Vodafone's Musicstation or Nokia's Comes with Music could go a long way to reduce the threat of online music piracy according to a study published by market researcher, TNS Technology.

According to the survey, British consumers could be on track to download 2.1 billion songs per annum - that's more than the current total number of music downloads worldwide - and would overnight remove the need for them to get their tracks from illegitimate sources.

And by tying the music downloads to phone or music players contracts, it would guarantee recurrent and dependable revenue streams and the deal could possibly be sweetened by adverts.

The survey showed that a quarter of those interviewed showed an interest saying that they would download on average 2 tracks a day, with those in the 16-24 age group gunning for nearly 130 tracks a month.

Should unlimited music downloads become more widely available, 45 percent said they would buy less CDs and fewer downloads with nearly 40 percent saying they would give up illegal file sharing.

Obviously the main winners would be the major music labels with the likes of iTunes (and traditional radios) being on the wrong end of the deal.

Ultimately, the deal could encompass both audio and video content in one all-in-one media subscription available both for mobile and computers.