MTV, MusicNet Talking Digital Music


MTV Networks is expected to launch an online-music service powered by MusicNet later this year, Reuters reported.

MusicNet -- a joint venture between RealNetworks Inc. and record labels BMG, EMI Group plc and Warner Music -- is a business-to-business company that charges its clients fees for offering them the technology, the infrastructure and its catalog of licensed music to develop digital-music services.

Reuters said it was unclear whether MTVN would use Microsoft Corp.’s “Windows Media Audio” format, used by Virgin Group Ltd., or RNI’s proprietary audio format, used by America Online Inc.’s MusicNet@AOL, to compress music.

It was also unclear what MTVN planned to charge for its service, although similar services now charge about $1 per song or $10 per month for unlimited use of streamed music, Reuters added.