Yahoo! is planning to move out of beta with its digital music service Yahoo! Music Unlimited. A January launch is most likely for the UK division of the company, though whether the same $5 (£3) per month subscription price point will be maintained is unclear. Yahoo! in the US, stated yesterday that it will stick to that price for the time being, despite being widely expected to raise its prices. A lack of publicly stated subscription numbers would suggest that the Yahoo! DMS, while creating a great deal of light for the digital music scene as a whole, isn’t generating much heat as far as subs go – it’s not cannabalising Napster and Rhapsody subs in the US.

The UK DMS scene will be transformed over the next four months with HMV relaunching, Virgin Digital launching (both in September) and now Yahoo! throwing its hat into the ring. It’s all good news for the UK music scene, well the customers at least, the competing DMS may well find the UK market can only sustain a certain number of mainstream services. Additionally, stand by for mobile services from Napster, Apple as well as revamps from the mobile operators themselves. Certainly the demand is there with music consumption in the UK remaining strong while many other international markets have dipped or continuously declined.

It’s going to be a very busy six months …

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