UK company launches world's first pay-per-play mobile music streaming service

Cambridge based Psonar (pronounced persona) will launch tomorrow its new pay-per-play digital music streaming service, but customers in the UK and US will have to wait until rights issues can be ironed out.

The company says that its music locker service will allow customers to listen to a track for just one penny (or one eurocent or one US cent) per play. Tracks can be listened to in full, uninterrupted and with no intrusive advertising or monthly subscriptions.

Additionally, users will able to gift tracks and playlists where they've pre-paid for the recipient to listen to the music one or multiple times. 

Psonar has teamed up with e-payment providers Bango Mobile Payments and PayPal to provide the micropayment methods. Alternatively customers can set up payments with their credit or debit cards.

The company also claims that its mobile web and PC sites will allow users to post tracks or playlists to Twitter and Facebook, creating a network of users who share and discover music virally with the ability to enjoy that music in full for only a few pennies.

Supported by The Orchard as a launch partner, Psonar is commencing a rolling launch of Pay Per Play across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and Scandinavia in by the summer.

“Research shows that streaming music services can lead to an increased propensity to purchase, rather than cannibalise the download market, and that both download and streaming revenues can grow side by side,” said Karim Fanous, head of Insight & Strategy at Music Ally

“Psonar aims to answer the digital music dilemma where users are forced to choose between expensive fixed cost online streaming services or pay to own tracks which limits the amount of music consumed and encourages copying and side-loading,” said Martin Rigby, Psonar CEO.

Psonar pay-per-play will initially be available online via desktop access and HTML5 enabled smartphones. BlackBerry and iPhone apps are due for launch in Q2 2011, followed by other major smartphone platforms. No date has been set on when it will launch in the UK and the US.

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