Jump to content
🌙 COLDPLAY ANNOUNCE MOON MUSIC OUT OCTOBER 4TH 🎵
  • Guest
    Guest

    Microsoft and MTV: Latest Challenge to iTunes

    ipod.jpgApple Computer Inc.'s dominant iTunes music download service is about to get tough new competition from a powerful pair or rivals -- software titan Microsoft Corp. and music video broadcaster MTV Networks.

     

    The new service, called Urge, will charge buyers the same price as iTunes' popular 99-cent song downloads. But Urge also will let users download to their personal computer and listen to any recording in its 2-million-song catalog for $9.95 a month.

     

    Users who pay $14.95 a month will be able to copy their songs onto portable music players and listen to them wherever they want, thanks to anti-copying software from Microsoft that prevents music piracy.While many competitors such as Napster, Yahoo, RealNetworks's Rhapsody, and even Microsoft's own MSN service have entered the online music business in recent years, all have failed to shake Apple's grip on the market.

     

    Yet analysts say the partnership of the world's largest software company and the marketing muscle of MTV poses the most serious challenge yet to Apple's dominance.

     

    "They are probably the strongest contender to come into the market for some time," said Phil Leigh, a senior analyst for Inside Digital Media, an Internet-based trade publication in Tampa, Fla.

     

    Since Apple opened its iTunes Music Store three years ago, the company has sold more than a billion songs online, or about 80 percent of the worldwide market for Internet music downloads.

     

    Largely because of the success of iTunes, worldwide sales of digital music downloaded over the Internet or through cellphones reached $1.1 billion last year. That's triple the level of 2004, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

     

    But Urge begins life with a severe handicap: Its music downloads won't be playable on the Apple iPod which has more than 70 percent of the market for portable music players, according to the market research firm NPD Group.

     

    Instead, they must be played on competing players such as the Zen line from Creative Technology Ltd.

     

    Jason Hirschhorn, MTV Networks' chief digital officer, a business unit of the entertainment conglomerate Viacom International Inc., admitted that Urge poses no immediate threat to Apple's lead in Internet music.

     

    Indeed, Hirschhorn said that Urge was created to cement a strong Internet identity for MTV, not to compete against Apple or other Internet music services like Napster and Rhapsody. "It's not about beating Apple," he said.

     

    "It's not about beating Rhapsody." In fact, MTV has paired with Apple to sell some of its TV shows as downloads on the iTunes site, and Hirschhorn said he'd like to expand the MTV-Apple relationship.

     

    While many competitors such as Napster, Yahoo, RealNetworks's Rhapsody, and even Microsoft's own MSN service have entered the online music business in recent years, all have failed to shake Apple's grip on the market.

     

    Yet analysts say the partnership of the world's largest software company and the marketing muscle of MTV poses the most serious challenge yet to Apple's dominance.

     

    "They are probably the strongest contender to come into the market for some time," said Phil Leigh, a senior analyst for Inside Digital Media, an Internet-based trade publication in Tampa, Fla.

     

    Since Apple opened its iTunes Music Store three years ago, the company has sold more than a billion songs online, or about 80 percent of the worldwide market for Internet music downloads.

     

    Largely because of the success of iTunes, worldwide sales of digital music downloaded over the Internet or through cellphones reached $1.1 billion last year. That's triple the level of 2004, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

     

    But Urge begins life with a severe handicap: Its music downloads won't be playable on the Apple iPod which has more than 70 percent of the market for portable music players, according to the market research firm NPD Group.

     

    Instead, they must be played on competing players such as the Zen line from Creative Technology Ltd.

     

    Jason Hirschhorn, MTV Networks' chief digital officer, a business unit of the entertainment conglomerate Viacom International Inc., admitted that Urge poses no immediate threat to Apple's lead in Internet music.

     

    Indeed, Hirschhorn said that Urge was created to cement a strong Internet identity for MTV, not to compete against Apple or other Internet music services like Napster and Rhapsody. "It's not about beating Apple," he said.

     

    "It's not about beating Rhapsody." In fact, MTV has paired with Apple to sell some of its TV shows as downloads on the iTunes site, and Hirschhorn said he'd like to expand the MTV-Apple relationship.

     

    Songs played on the streams can be easily added to the subscriber's list of favorite tunes. In addition, users can have Urge generate automatic playlists of music they might enjoy. "If you like Coldplay," said Hirschhorn, "it's going to give you Coldplay and 20 other artists like Coldplay." iTunes offers similar features, but a user must buy the selected songs to hear more than a 30-second preview of the music.

     

    Along with music, Urge subscribers will be able to see video streams of MTV Network programs, including shows from MTV, VH1 and CMT, a country music video channel. Sales of TV shows and free downloads of podcasts are not yet available, but Urge plans to add these features later this year.

     

    Most specialists credit Apple's iPod music players for iTunes dominance.

     

    Since its introduction less than five years ago, Apple has sold over 50 million iPods, far more than any competing product. In addition, Apple designed its music downloads and iPod players to use anti-piracy software that is incompatible with other companies' music players.

     

    As a result, iPod users cannot easily move music downloaded from Urge, Yahoo, or other Internet music services onto their iPods. Apple refuses to license its anti-piracy software for use by its rivals, so iPod users would find it difficult and inconvenient to purchase music through Urge.

     

    Meanwhile, an Urge user who wants to listen to his music on the bus can choose from dozens of compatible music players, but can't use an iPod.

     

    Source: cio-today.com




    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.



    Guest
    This is now closed for further comments

×
×
  • Create New...