The first iTMS imitators.

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
From this article.


Jobs' success is encouraging to competitors and wannabes, especially those that serve the Windows market, which Apple says the iTunes Music Store won't serve until later this year.

''If he's the one that gets the game going great,'' said Dan Hart, chief executive of Echo, a joint venture of Tower Records, Best Buy and four other retail chains that plans to mirror Apple's pay-per-song model in the larger Windows world.

Echo has yet to complete technology and licensing deals, he said, but the time is ripe.

That Apple's store sold a million tracks in the week following its April 28 launch apparently shocked record executives, who said they would have been satisfied with a million in a month.

''Apple's success has shown that by loosening the restrictions on what consumers can do with the music, that's the right way to compete with free'' file sharing, Hart said.

Competitors point out that Apple isn't the first to sell downloads by the song. And other services, too, allow burning onto CDs and transfers to portable music players.

But Apple was the first to piece everything together with virtually no restrictions, a reasonable price and a relatively easy-to-use computer jukebox program all without charging subscriptions, industry analysts say.

Customers can keep the songs indefinitely, play them on any number of iPod portable players and burn unlimited copies onto CDs.

By contrast, industry-backed music services such as pressplay and MusicNet require monthly fees and disable songs once subscriptions end.

Singer-songwriter Janis Ian, a Grammy Hall of Fame inductee and vocal critic of her industry's anti-piracy tactics, is thrilled by the new Apple offering.

''You can't call it visionary because they should have come up with this five years ago,'' she said. ''It's ironic that a computer manufacturer is teaching the record industry the next step, and so far, that's what's happening.'', which is being acquired by RealNetworks, plans to keep charging subscriptions to Rhapsody, its online music service, while adding a pay-per-song option, said company spokesman Matt Graves.

Echo plans to let consumers choose between a subscription package and single-song downloads.

Microsoft Corp., too, is entering the online music fray next week with MSN Radio Plus. Though it will initially charge $4.99 a month for streaming listening to music while connected online MSN may one day match Apple's per-song downloading onto computers, said Hadi Partovi, general manager of MSN Entertainment.

''Microsoft is glad to see the labels are providing more flexibility. They're providing that to anybody, not just to Apple,'' Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in an interview. ''We think we can help the labels and shift behavior toward the legitimate purchase now that the flexibility has gone up.''

Dan Sheeran, vice president of marketing at RealNetworks, sent Apple a thank-you e-mail. By promoting the idea of legal downloads, he said in an interview, Apple ''is really good at getting a lot of attention and other people tend to get the economic benefit.''

I have two feelings on this:

One, Apple really should have done a simultaneous Mac/Windows release. I understand the 'test market' theories, but really this just seems like the story of Apple's life.

Two, I seriously doubt any other company could have pulled this off. However, now that the doors are open, the record companies may take relatively little convincing. I know that two of the Big 5 have already signed on, I hope that this last weeks performance will encourage them to sign on with Apple rather than go a Sony/MS route.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    I think Apple's banking on the labels being reluctant to go with no-name start-ups especially since Apple has a viable product anyway. The iTunes Music Store is the recording industry's test case. They're not about to jump on anybody else's service just yet, and by the time the test is deemed a success, the Windows version of the store should be in play.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    I'm sure that more and stiffer competition will appear, and that will be a good thing!

    Lower prices for us.
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