Aussie telecom closing its music downloads store, may seek a partner instead

Bigpond Music canvasAustralian telecommunication company Telstra announced that it is shuttering Bigpond Music, its online music download store. The decade-old service will close on Dec. 12. “The download-to-own music market has changed a lot,” a rep from Telstra said. “We believe the best way for us to continue to provide great music services to our customers is via a partner model.”

Brisbane Times reported that pressure from streaming services were a factor in Telstra’s decision. The numbers stateside have certainly painted a troubling picture for music purchases by album or download; the latest RIAA numbers showed revenue drops of 11% for downloaded singles and 14% for downloaded albums in the first half of 2014. Meanwhile, streaming figures from that same report were on the rise at 28% growth. Bigpond Music’s end may be a sign of similar changes in the Australian music market.

Telstra does have some ties to the streaming ecosystem. The company entered into a partnership with the subscription streaming service MOG in 2012. MOG was purchased by Beats Electronics, which was part of the Apple acquisition earlier this year, so the future is somewhat uncertain for Telsta’s other music outlet. Although the U.S. version shut down, it will continue (at least for the time being) in Australia.

Anna Washenko