BT is reportedly looking to develop a free music download service to attempt to stop music fans downloading music illegally via file-sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay.

The new comes via a source at The Guardian, who claims to have seen a leaked Invitation to Tender document that outlines how the new free download service will be offered to BT's 5.5 million broadband customers.

Talks with music labels

BT is apparently set to unveil the service "in the near future" and currently in the midst of negotiations with major labels including Universal Music and EMI.

The service will reportedly be free to users for the first six to nine months, after which their may be some form of subscription model put into place to charge users for access.

"We are very keen to launch a music service in the near future, but it will have to be with a model that customers will want and can work financially for BT," the telecoms company told PC Pro.

"We are in the early development stage so we are not currently in a position to comment further."

Spotify currently rules the European market for music streaming, recently announcing that over one million subscribers now pay for the service each month.

Spotify has also been in talks with British ISPs such as Virgin Media discussing potential partnerships to offer music streaming to Brits.

Via The Guardian and PC Pro