Virgin Media preps unlimited music download service

Virgin Media has struck a deal with music company Universal to offer a "world first" unlimited music download subscription service to its cu

Users will be able to get unlimited access to Universal's catalog, including artists such as Amy Winehouse, Kanye West and U2, in exchange for a yet to be announced monthly fee.

The Guardian is reporting that the service will allow for both unlimited streaming and downloading of music, all of which will be able to be kept even if the user cancels it later down the line.

Virgin Media has said it hopes the service will start a "rapid and permanent change" to music habits in the UK, and is talking to other major music labels with a hope of getting them on board with the service before its launch later this year.

Rather interestingly, the deal will also involve Virgin doing its bit to help the music industry fight off illegal downloading, by looking at measures such as "temporary suspension" of persistant file sharers (although this could apparently be as little as five minutes).

It's not been confirmed how much the service will cost, but it is though the company will be charging around £15 – or the cost of buying "a couple of albums a month". There will also be an "entry level" option for those people who aren't looking for an unlimited offering, presumably for a cheaper monthly fee.

"Virgin Media's agreement with Universal is a world first and lays the ground for a truly unique service when it launches later this year," said Virgin Group's big boss Richard Branson. "It will give music fans all the MP3s they want for a small monthly fee whilst supporting the artists whose creativity is the lifeblood of music."

We'll be keeping you updated on any news as this as we get it. Let us know if you'd pay for Virgin's service below.