MTV partners with Microsoft to develop online music service

MTV Networks Inc. said Tuesday it has partnered with Microsoft Corp. to develop an online music service to launch early next year.

The service, dubbed URGE, will be integrated into the next version of the software maker's Windows Media Player and offer more than 2 million tracks for sale individually or as part of a subscription package.

The service will also offer music over online radio.

Microsoft will build the technology behind URGE, which Viacom Inc.'s &to=' target=_blank>MTV Networks will own and operate.

MTV Networks declined to give details on URGE's pricing, but users can expect to pay different tiers for a la carte downloads, subscriptions and for moving rented tracks to a portable music player, said Jason Hirschhorn, the company's chief digital officer.

Similar services typically charge around 99 cents (83 euro cents) for an individual track and $5 (Ђ4.19) to $15 (Ђ12.58) a month or more for a basic subscription package.

The current version of Microsoft's Media Player has built-in links to several music services, including MusicNow and Napster. A few months ago, Microsoft broke off talks with record labels to license music for a new online subscription service of its own. It did not explain the move.

Microsoft already sells song downloads on its MSN Music Internet site.

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