Digital rights management provider Destra has attempted a low-key spoil of tonight's long-awaited announcement by ninemsn of its entry to the Australian online music market, announcing Warner Music Australia's participation in its Internet music service.
Destra chief executive officer Domenic Carosa said, "With the addition of Warner Music Australia, Destra is now selling music over the Internet for five major labels including BMG, EMI, Festival Mushroom Records and Sony Music."
Warner will initially provide a significant number of tracks from artists like REM, Matchbox Twenty, Missy Elliot and Magic Dirt.
Meanwhile, ninemsn will officially launch its online music store tonight, with chief executive officer Martin Hoffman being joined at the event by artists and industry partners such as Denis Handlin, chairman and chief executive officer of Sony Music Entertainment and chairman of the Australian Record Industry Association.
While few details are available, ninemsn has reportedly said it would not be joining the price war between Destra and BigPond.
In an interview with ZDNet Australia , Destra spokesperson Richard Jabara said the company was not threatened by the entry of ninemsn in the market and welcomed more new players.
"We are absolutely not scared of ninemsn. In fact, we welcome the competition. It legitimises that the business is viable and keeps all of us on our toes," he said.
BigPond managing director Justin Milne has previously welcomed ninemsn, saying the entry of the joint venture between Microsoft and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd 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 has said.