BigPond, Destra claim sharp boost to music site performance

BigPond Music and Destra's traffic and download has increased tremendously since the start of its April promotional offer, both companies said today.BigPond traffic and download increased by 300 percent for its 99 cents-per-track April promo while Destra claims their traffic has increased by 400 percent for the first week of April compared to the entire month of March.

BigPond Music and Destra's traffic and download has increased tremendously since the start of its April promotional offer, both companies said today.

BigPond traffic and download increased by 300 percent for its 99 cents-per-track April promo while Destra claims their traffic has increased by 400 percent for the first week of April compared to the entire month of March.

BigPond managing director Justin Milne said that although management was happy with the performance of the music site since its launch in January, it was still too early to reveal detailed statistics.

"It's too early to start divulging any of the site's statistics, but what I can say is that it is performing better than its business plan," Milne said.

Milne welcomed the entry of Ninemsn into the market, saying it would strengthen the status of legal online music downloading in Australia and secure its future.

"With major entrants like BigPond Music and Ninemsn there will be real cachet attached to legal online music downloading. Consumers will see what a quantum leap is being taken in terms of online content and the future of music purchasing. Having a number of strong players in the on line music businesses will be great for consumers and really cement online downloading's future," Milne said.

As for changing music formats to include iPod Apple users, Milne said it is a possible option but only if Apple starts licensing their Digital Rights Management system called Fairplay to other digital music services.

"It's possible to encode music in the same AAC format that Apple use but that only gets you half way there. The other half of the journey requires a Digital Rights Management system that protects artists' rights. At present, Apple aren't licensing their DRM to other digital music services," Milne said.

Destra spokesperson Richard Jabara said they will not be co-branding with Apple's DRM system and that they are currently "working on developing the DRM system to work with [the] AAC format." However, Jabara also said "at some future point we may enter in co-branding with other parties."

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