No wonder Virgin is so keen to comply with Lord Mandelson's attempts to crack down on internet-based music piracy: details have emerged of its soon-to-launch MusicFish music download service.

First outlined in summer 2009, the Virgin music download service is slated to launch by July. Virgin Media says the service is still in development but is progressing nicely. A Virgin Media spokesperson told Marketing that it is "making good progress" on developing the service for its launch later this year.

According to a report by Marketing magazine, the service will offer Napster- and Spotify-like music streaming as well as physical downloads. Customers of Virgin's cable and ADSL and TV services will enjoy music content for free.

Unlimited web streaming and downloads will otherwise reputedly cost £6.49 per month. By contrast, Spotify Premium costs £9.99 for unlimited listening without advert interruptions.

So far, Universal Music is the only music publisher on board, but Sony, EMI and Warner are also reported to be close to agreeing a deal with Virgin Media to offer their artists' catalogues through the MusicFish service.

Virgin Media's big broadband and TV rival Sky launched a similar service last summer.