Sony, Vivendi pushing Pressplay

Sony and Vivendi Universal will launch their Pressplay subscription music service in September, although a dispute with music publishers over royalties remains an obstacle, Reuters reports.

Pressplay will distribute its Internet-based subscription music service on the MSN Network and will offer songs in Microsoft's Windows media format, as well as use technology from, which Universal has agreed to buy. The service will compete with MusicNet, the music subscription venture between Microsoft rival RealNetworks and the other three major recording labels, Warner Music, Bertelsmann and EMI Group.

Vivendi Executive Vice President Edgar Bronfman Jr. told a New York press conference that "portability," or the ability to offer the Pressplay service on portable devices, will be available at some time in the future. He said Pressplay would be launched in the first half of September.