Universal fixing to start a music subscription service?

Universal has made its problemswith iTuneswell known in the past, and it now looks like it might be set to take things to the next level, with BusinessWeek reporting that the company is trying to enlist the support of other record labels in order to launch their own music subscription service. Apparently, Sony BMG Music has already expressed interest in being a "potential partner," and Universal is now trying to convince Warner Music Group to come on board as well. What's more, it seems that this potential service, currently dubbed "Total Music," would be quite a bit different than your usual subscription model, with the groups' current thinking apparently focused on a $5-per-month subscription fee that hardware makers or cell carriers would absorb, making the music itself "essentially free" for consumers. That, of course, would still add up in one form or another, with some "industry insiders" speculating that it could add as much as $90 to each player -- based on the assumption that users hang on to their players for 18 months on average.

[Via Yahoo News/IDGNS]