Last Christmas, EBay's Skype was selling a $5 package of minutes and a headset through Radio Shack stores. Now, it's giving notice it's going online with music sales. And this may just be the start of an all out competition with Apple's iTunes store
Skype's now inked deals with Warner Music and EMI Music Publishing to sell music downloads - just like the other mobile phone services. (Skype's been selling ring tones for a while.)
EMI says the deal is for "worldwide" license rights. London's Times says such an arrangement will make it easier for songwriters to get paid than if the license was on a country-by-country basis.
Skype's already got a "Shop" on its Web site. It's only a matter of time before it competes against the mobile carriers for music sales, too. The company claims 55 million users, with 150,000 new sign ups every day. Lots of customers who, for instance, might be enticed to try Skype's premium voice mail feature, in exchange for a couple of ring tunes
Phil Wolff at Skype Journal predicted such a move in January, adding Skype's ring tone relationships would lead to music, television, and movie distribution.