Microsoft is ready to launch Zune next week. Today they announced that it will pay Universal Music Group a fee for each new Zune digital music player it sells.
This is very different from the policy that Apple today follows. Apple pays a percentage share to Universal for the music that is downloaded via its iTunes service. It currently doesn’t pay a share on the iPod sales.
This could set a new trend, though Microsoft says that this isn’t actually something new. It is believed to be a kind of tax as a compensation for loss of sales that the music industry had to face because of piracy. The reason for the fee could also be because MS worked closely with music artists during the development of Zune.
The fee has not been disclosed yet.