Breaking: Virgin Media, UMG Mint Unlimited Streaming, Download Offering

UK-based Virgin Media and Universal Music Group are now planning an all-access, unlimited streaming and download service, according to details shared with Digital Music News early this morning.

The plan is to give Virgin broadband subscribers unlimited streams and MP3s, without strings attached, in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.  “The music will be theirs to keep forever,” an executive at Virgin shared.

Universal Music Group is the big kahuna, and its support will undoubtedly lead to buy-in from other labels, publishers, and stakeholders.  But the details on other licensees remain forthcoming, and a launch date has been tentatively slated for later this year.  Additionally, the companies have yet to disclose a pricing plan.

Some carrot-and-stick aspects will also accompany the offering.  Universal Music Group and its label allies will ‘educate’ Virgin subscribers, and Virgin has indicated that infringing accounts will be suspended – but not terminated.  Virgin is also planning to keep its hands clean of monitoring or filtering, though again, details on how that will be achieved remain undisclosed.

More details as they emerge…