The BBC news reported that
“Virgin and Universal have signed a deal that will give the ISP’s customers access to “unlimited” music.
For a monthly fee, Virgin’s broadband customers will be able to download or stream as many MP3 files as they want.
As part of the deal, Virgin has pledged to aggressively police usage to stop the MP3 tracks turning up on file-sharing networks. ”
So we pay a flat fee if we want to download music & that goes to the record company who, I’m sure, will pass it on to the musicians, presumably like subscription radio.
I can see a few problems with this, especially as artists are using the big companies less & partly because downloads aren’t exclusively saleable content but it might be a way forward.