Universal Music has become the fifth record company to sign on for the download service from Australian telecommunication giant Telstra, BigPondMusic.com.

Universal Music has become the fifth record company to sign on for the download service from Australian telecommunication giant Telstra, BigPondMusic.com.

BigPondMusic already has content agreements with Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Festival Mushroom Records (FMR). The service offers 250,000 tracks, priced at a reduced rate of A$1.49 ($2.68) for BigPond broadband account holders. Non-account holders pay $1.89 ($3.40) per track.

BigPond managing director Justin Milne says he expects to sign up BMG Australia soon. The service is also in talks with 60 indie labels.

In other news, BMG Australia has signed up to sell an initial 10,000 tracks through the download offering of digital rights management provider Destra Corp. Tracks will start at A$1.99 ($3.58) via Destra's online retail partners Sanity.com.au, HMV.com.au, JBHiFi.com.au and ChaosMusic.com.au.

Destra, which has similar deals with EMI, Sony Music and FMR, claims to have a digital catalog of 110,000 tracks. The company aims to increase that number to 500,000 by mid-year.

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