Two music services looking to consign your CD collection to history are to be made available in Ireland within weeks of each other. Eircom launched its MusicHub before Christmas which promises free track streaming and cheaper music downloads than iTunes. Last week, UK company We7 announced that their large streaming catalogue will be available to Irish customers from this Monday 17th January.
Eircom’s MusicHub offers free unlimited music streaming (at 128kbps AAC+ audio junkies) to all of their broadband customers and that service is €6.99 per month for non-Eircom customers. If you want to add downloads to that subscription, then for 15 and 40 downloads for Eircom customers costs €5.99 and €12.99 a month respectively while the same for non-Eircom customers is €11.99 and €22.99 a month.
The company also has plans for app versions of the MusicHub for iPhone, Android and Windows phones. At 32 cent per download, the download offering is a lot less than iTunes pricing and the music is not restricted to certain devices. Eircom says it has over 4 million tracks in its MusicHub library.
We7 meanwhile are a company that have been operating in the UK since late 2008. Now claiming to have 3 million monthly users and 6.5 million tracks to stream, it has established itself as one of the frontrunners in music streaming services in the UK.
We7 does not offer downloads but crucially is free to stream (at a superior 192kbps over the MusicHub) for anyone for the small annoyance of listening to occasional ads. If you want to remove the ads, it costs €4.99 a month. You can listen to charts, albums, songs, playlists or radio which autoplays a selection of music based on your artist choices. We7 already offers mobile app versions for iPhone and Android. The impressive app features offline-caching, library searching and the ability to listen to saved playlists so you can take your music with you everywhere is only available on premium which costs €9.99 a month. When We7.ie launches next week, the company promises lots of Irish music content which it has been very pro-active in sourcing in recent months.
Whether you choose Eircom’s MusicHub or my personal favourite We7, the arrival of these two new music services is very good news indeed for Irish music fans.