The U.K. will shortly see the introduction of music downloads away from the PC. Inspired Broadcast Networks and Entertainment UK have teamed up to get songs added to a range of different public vending machines. This will mean that soon in addition to having buttons for a chocolate bar or soft drink, there may also be a music download button or even a separate dedicated kiosk. Pubs, bars, and clubs are also on the list where you can usually find a jukebox of some form (which could be networked for music downloading), and there are plans to allow downloads directly to a mobile phone as well.
The vending machine plans are made possible with the help of BT’s DSL broadband network, meaning the machines can be networked to a central repository and updated when required. Initially music will be downloaded using a memory card, but the ultimate aim is to make the whole process wireless using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Trials are being conducted now, with early interest being shown by lastminute.com, Coca-Cola, Welcome Break, and Woolworths. With the music vending machine market set to boom over the next three years, Inspired is investing £50 million (~US$93 million) to get this arm of its business off the ground.