Time Warner Cable Pushes Music Offering, Taps MusicNet

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Time Warner Cable is now pushing a digital music offering, and tapping MusicNet on the backend.

The cable giant is unveiling Road Runner Music today, a subscription and download store, and offering compatibility components as well.

That means easy music access and centralized billing, a major competitive advantage.  “I have spent the better part of my career in the cable business, and to see the advances made in providing consumers with such broad access to music is very satisfying,” said Alan McGlade, president and chief executive of MediaNet Digital, of which MusicNet is now a division.

In total, Road Runner Music carries a catalog of 3 million tracks, a healthy collection that leaves few gaps.  In terms of pricing, subscribers will face a $9.95 monthly charge, a sum that also includes access to streaming radio channels and music videos.  Portability on three different devices is allowed for an extra $5 charge.  Details on content protection were not discussed, though the offering most likely features WMA-protected tracks – and iPod incompatibility.

Time Warner most recently reported a subscriber volume of 14.7 across its video, high-speed data and residential telephone properties.  The launch also involves Synacor, a technology company that frequently partners with MusicNet.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.