All-you-can-eat Bandit.fm to take on iTunes in NZ

In the US, some of the biggest tech buzz of the year has been generated by Spotify, an online music service that lets you stream an unlimited amount of songs via the internet each month, for a set fee, rather than buy tracks or albums individually on the iTunes model.

Last month, a similar service was launched in Australia, called Bandit.fm.

Now, Bandit.fm is set to migrate across the Tasman with a New Zealand launch set for late November.

The new service will let you stream (that is, play but not save) an unlimited number of songs each month for $9.95, payable in advance by credit card.

Old school too
Bandit.fm will also offer a more traditional, iTunes-style service that will let you buy individual songs, albums and videos to download and keep.

Sony Music Australia digital and brand development GM Gavin Parry told NBR that Bandit.fm NZ will likely sell most singles for $1.79, and albums for $17.99 (that is, it'll track iTunes pricing). Back-catalogue material will usually be cheaper.

Users of TiVo (launching November 6) will get free access to a selection of Bandit.fm songs and music videos.

Get onto my cloud
Bandit.fm is run by Sony, but also includes tracks from the other three major multi-national music labels: Universal Music, EMI and Warner Music.

Mr Parry, in Auckland yesterday for the TiVo launch, described Bandit.fm's $9.95 a month streaming option as a “cloud music service”. Where-ever you are, and whatever PC or MP3-compatible music player you happen to be using, you can access your favourite playlists, or any song, from bandit.fm.

Getting the other major labels onboard had been tricky, but now they’re on the same team, Bandit.fm is lining up independents, with the first batch due to be announced shortly.

1 million songs
The service will launch in New Zealand with 1 million songs, which will be boosted to around 4 million with an upgrade planned for the second quarter of next year.

iTunes New Zealand offers around nine million songs, plus a narrower selection of video, movie and TV content.

Vodafone New Zealand already offers a DRM-free music service on a similar rental model, offering unlimited songs for $2.50 a week.

iPod-compatible, no DRM
Bandit.fm tracks are billed as compatible with Macs and PCs, as well as iPods and other MP3 players. There is no digital rights management, or copy-protection of songs.

Songs are offered at 256 or 320kbps audio resolution - that is, matching iTunes' level of compression and audio quality.

Read also: Telecom’s launches NZ's largest mobile music store - but it’s wrapped in DRM

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6 Comments & Questions

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Sounds great! Now let's see Sony put together an android app for this to run on their Xperia Infinity device about to be announced and get a deal going with Vodafone for unlimited streaming to the device. Put it all together in a subsidised plan including calls/txt/data and you have the first real competition to the iPhone.

Ah... it'll never happen.

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I doubt it - Vodafone wouldnt want to take revenues away from their existing music service.. But you should be able to access it via the Xperia's browser....

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I doubt it - Vodafone wouldnt want to take revenues away from their existing music service.. But you should be able to access it via the Xperia's browser....

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Vodafone's existing music service has a target audience of teenagers equipped with entry level 3G phones. Android devices sell at the high end (a different market altogether) and Vodafone can tie these high ARPU customers in for 2 yrs ala iPhone...

Apple needs competition thats why Nokia have reps in malls extoling the benefits of Ovi. My money is on the might of Sony (Sony Ericsson) making the first decent inroads but it needs Network support. Which network will be first?

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If they are MP3, they will not stop working if you dont pay, so its just that you will have to pay $10 to join and download, once you have all you want, cancel.

Still with the lack of having to upload like on bittorrent it may be worthwhile.

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Man I don't know what the hecks going on but I can't seem to be able to get the site. I wanna download my free track . This just is so suckkkkkky

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