Napster seems to be gaining steam

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Things could get complicated for iTMS should napster continue to gain a user base. an arcticle on the guardian, mentions how the CEO of napster believes that the .AAC format will ultimately fall short and despite all the initial success iTMS has, once others start hitting the scene, all using .WMA, it could be bad news for iTMS.



What are your thoughts on this?



I don't think iTMS could ever be taken out, but things could get ugly once there is a big enough user base and market for people using the .WMA format-based music stores.



of all the new start-up music stores, only one other is going to be using .AAC



Also, in that article the napster CEO mentions how napster has the biggest selection of music...is that true? surely iTMS has +/- 400,000 songs online, that's pretty substantial.



Last figures I remember, Napster had sold ~2 million songs and iTMS had sold ~30 million, now, granted iTunes sold ~2 million A LOT faster than all the other services combined, 2 million is still a big number, that still means that there are a lot of users committing to napster.



the biggest things iTMS has going for it are the abundance of exclusive tracks, and the iPod.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,129member
    Chris Gorog makes Scott Blum look like a Mensa Member.





    His pedantic musings mean abolutely nothing



    "Napster has a brand awareness"



    You idiot it's a negative connotation. Napster= free.



    "Napster and others give you choice"



    Choice of what? I can get the same thing with iTMS. Why the hell would I want to use multiple services unless they have exclusive content? Even then as long as I have a liberal use policy I can still burn a CD and rerip to what I need.



    Personally I'm beginning to think the whole music download thing is a sham.



    I secretly hope that the next generation of P2P destroys the Big 5. I won't shed a tear if it happens.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    tacojohntacojohn Posts: 980member
    I don't know exact numbers but here it goes...



    I think Jobs said that iTMS has 500K songs now (or by the end of January or something like that).



    I have a mac so I don't use anything but the iTMS and love it (I think I've downloaded about 70-80 songs already- more music than I've even bought).



    A few of my friends who do have PCs (not very many- most have macs 'cause I helped switch them over and I'm in the Telecomm digital media arts program at Michigan State and everyone uses Macs), anyway, those who do have PCs use the iTMS- I know the pepsi thing is working well... One of my friends said every time they log on to redeem their free songs they end of spending $5 or so.



    Most people that I know what an iPod if they don't already have one and if they know that they can only use it with the iTMS then thats the store they will use.



    I don't know anyone who said they use Napster because its better. Hell- I don't know anyone who even thought about using napster or even knew it exists let alone other music stores.



    I think there will be competition, but it'll keep apple on its toes and try and make its services better- competition is good for the consumer.



    I hope they work something out with colleges like napster did- although I doubt that MSU would do anything like that for students. I'm president of the apple club here at MSU now (as of today actually)- maybe I'll try and push something like that...I know it would be popular among the students.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    "Gorog believes pressure from iPod owners will force Apple to reconsider its stance: 'The iPod is great if you're happy to only shop at one record store. It's like buying a car and finding you can only drive down one road. I think consumers, when they understand that, will be kind of pissed off,' he says."



    how stupid is that. napster only wants people to shop in the napster store--what kind of a marketing plan is that--convince people that if they switch away from apple, they wont have to buy jsut from your store. i hope this made sense. napster sucks. fvck them!
  • Reply 4 of 51
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    "Gorog believes pressure from iPod owners will force Apple to reconsider its stance: 'The iPod is great if you're happy to only shop at one record store. It's like buying a car and finding you can only drive down one road. I think consumers, when they understand that, will be kind of pissed off,' he says."



    how stupid is that. napster only wants people to shop in the napster store--what kind of a marketing plan is that--convince people that if they switch away from apple, they wont have to buy jsut from your store. i hope this made sense. napster sucks. fvck them!






    Exactly, but, if they don't use iTunes then they can use any one of the .WMA music stores, and that hurts apple, because as soon as .WMA starts gaining momentum, it will be very hard to keep it back, remember the *vast* majority of the world uses windows based PCs, and while .mp3 is still the most popular audio compression, should music stores start gaining in popularity, it may end up being 4-5 .WMA stores against 2 .AAC stores, apple will have to work extra hard to keep such a decisive lead over the rest.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    Quote:

    As well as selling single tracks (99p each is likely), Napster will offer a subscription option. For a monthly fee, set at $9.95 in the US, users can download as many tracks as they like, although they pay extra to burn them to CD or transfer them to a portable player. "The Ã* la carte download model is a great catalyst because it's very easy to understand. We believe the subscription opportunity offers greater value and in the mid to long term will be the way that most people buy their music," says Gorog. In his vision of the future, users will download thousands of tracks to their hard drive and use it to power all their home entertainment wirelessly.



    so consumers can pay $.99 for iTunes 'licensed rights and free burns and transfer to devices'



    why then would said consumers want to pay Napster an $9.95/month and then get whacked with extra fees to get less portability and burn and transfer to player devices than they could get without the additional monthly gouge, or via the iTMS method?



    [edit]

    If the Subscription model appeals to some types of users, fine. As long as it isn't the only method... and as long as you don't mind having to regularly phone MS for authorization (we know how good they are about protecting user privacy and not surreptitiously collecting information from user hard drives or Passports ).

    I'd rather pay once and control my own options, not be tied to the whims of a website when I want to burn.

    YMMV

    [/edit]



    Gorog must have failed Economics if he thinks consumers will gladly pay more to get less,

    Which part of the words "offers greater value" is Napster not getting?







    Quote:

    Gorog points to how the brand retains enormous affection. He claims 92% of those polled in the US recognised the Napster brand and equated it with online music, compared with 27% for iTunes. "People still love the brand. We've been able to take Napster into a paid model but they still use the same adjectives to describe it - innovative, independent, cool, irreverent, renegade."



    no word on what percentage of those numbers see Napster = bootleg/piracy/stealing music

    almost everybody I know equated Napster with "free" as in 'Screw the RIAA/labels"

    the new adjectives might be "sell-out", "industry/corporate stooges", "suits"



    Quote:

    Key to this, he says, is that it has remained true to the "original Napster values" of "virtually unlimited choice, the largest music catalogue in the world and an experience that enhances discovery. Most importantly, it has the community aspects of the original so you can email songs, you can share playlists."



    um... IIRC, the original Napster values had more to do with "free", "screw the RIAA", and possibly a dose of anarchist-underground-distribution-for-the-underdogs. by getting into bed with MS on DRM and with the labels and RIAA, which of these values remains true?



    and Napster never had the largest music catalogue... it's users shared lots of music, but Fanning's corporate entity and the Napster brand themselves never owned or had rights to the music catalogues they're trying to piggyback credentials on after the fact



    hearing Gorog try the FUD technique to try and scare people away from AAC to WMA sounds familiar...



    reminds me of... MS - Quicktime isn't made by us (despite being a superior video format), so we'll cripple QT support in Win9x. Use WMV, or AVI, or another kludge that doesn't compare to MPEG-4 (based on QT, oh no)



    Don't use that Firewire (made by Apple/Sony/others), USB2 is blessed by MS !



    802.11b, oh no (started by Apple again)... it might not be compatible...

    better blindly follow the herd of early PC WIFI developers who pushed 802.11a



    No surprise that Gorog is too busy drinking the kool-aid to spot his own spin



    The sad thing is how many unquestioning readers and journalists don't call him on it.



    And market share alone isn't enough to make something a good idea...

    the fact that Millions of people eat McDonalds doesn't make it good food.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Personally, if iTunes had a 10/month for unlimited downloads, I would SO be up on that. I would fill my HD in a day easily. Then at least I'd have FULL versions of the songs to listen to when I want, then even if it costs a little more to put it on my iPod, that would be like the actual purchase price...if you get my savvy?



    I think I would totally dig into that system.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    $10/month for "unlimited downloads" sounds like a bandwidth nightmare.



    And you think some Universities have choked networks now...

    that's why they block P2P in the first place (and charges of 'facilitating piracy').

    Even if the servers were legit and the licensing was clearly legal,

    I can't imagine those schools who block P2P suddenly opening them up for 'unlimited d/l'



    on the upside... sales of storage devices would skyrocket

  • Reply 8 of 51
    gorebuggorebug Posts: 52member
    I think a problem is the name "AAC"



    If it were referred to as "mp4" then people would get a better idea that it is superior to the mp3 format that they know and trust.



    All the A's also may make people assume that it is an apple only format - "Apple Audio Compression" etc.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    "See this system here? This is Hi-Fi... high fidelity.

    What that means is that it's the highest quality fidelity... better than Lo-Fi."

    Buck Swope (Don Cheadle) ~ Boogie Nights
  • Reply 10 of 51
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:

    Companies pushing a propriety agenda are consumer-unfriendly experiences because they're cloistering them in an experience that they can't leave and eliminating choice.



    Spouting the same amount of bullshit in face-to-face discussion would result in this guy getting punched in the face at least every other day.



    Okay, seriously now. I'm not going to pay a cent for a song with digital right management encumbering my fair use. If I can strip that away with no fuss, I might consider buying. So DRM, in my mind, is the first thing that needs to go, irrespective of codec.



    Next important step is to have choice in portable players. That is easiest to accomplish with a format that is patent- and therefore license-free. Currently that means Ogg Vorbis.



    I wish Apple adds Vorbis support to the iPod soon. IMO, that and builtin recording are the only things really missing from the device.
  • Reply 11 of 51
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Chris Gorog makes Scott Blum look like a Mensa Member.



    Dont't forget David Fester. "Windows is about choice!"



    As long as the two music stores with most well lined pockets like Real and Apple's use AAC, it'll be fine.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    Can someone explain to me what these other stores are trying to get out of selling these songs? If there isn't much money to be made why are they trying?



    I agree, Apple should be calling it mp4 not aac. I know mp4 can be confused with video but guess what...most people don't know that. Mp4 sounds better than mp3, and most people will say "acc, what is that?"
  • Reply 13 of 51
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    I'd say Roxio will run out of money before Napster can become successfull. 5 million in 5 or 6 months? Then 4 million to the record labels. Thats 1 million bucks without even paying their overhead. It cost them 10 million just for the name for christ sakes. If Roxio thinks "it's only a matter of time" before the iTMS crumbles, their deader then they think - this isn't the computer industry their competing in.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    dviantdviant Posts: 483member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by gorebug

    I think a problem is the name "AAC"



    If it were referred to as "mp4" then people would get a better idea that it is superior to the mp3 format that they know and trust.



    All the A's also may make people assume that it is an apple only format - "Apple Audio Compression" etc.




    I totally agree. "MP3" is pretty much a generic term for digital music and MP4 would equate a natural extension of that. It always baffled me why Apple chooses to confuse the heck out of things by calling them ACC and then labeling them .m4a and .m4p (and then never referring to it). Seems like a lost marketing opportunity to capitalize on the "brand" of MP3.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    dviantdviant Posts: 483member
    I can't decide what Apple should do.



    On one hand, it seems that they want to combat .wma taking hold anyway they can to prevent from having to bow to MS and their licensing of it. This would entail them licencing out the iTMS DRM and trying to get more online stores and players to support it.



    However that in itself is also somewhat self-defeating. They want people to buy iPods and use iTMS, not other players and music services. I suppose you could also see it as adding potential iTMS users by way of more AAC enabled devices or fueling more iPod sales due to greater choice as well. Seems to be a six-of-one, half-dozen-of-the-other kind of argument.



    Perhaps what they should be doing is educating consumers as to WHY iTMS and ACC is better. But in typical Apple style, all their ads are oblique and more focused on style than consumer education of their products. Personally I think TBWA/Chiat/Day (they're still with them aren't they?) needs to get off their asses and produce an EFFECTIVE commercial. Dancing with iPods is cool and all, but says nothing about iTMS or any features of the iPod besides "hey look its a music player".
  • Reply 16 of 51
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dviant

    I totally agree. "MP3" is pretty much a generic term for digital music and MP4 would equate a natural extension of that. It always baffled me why Apple chooses to confuse the heck out of things by calling them ACC and then labeling them .m4a and .m4p (and then never referring to it). Seems like a lost marketing opportunity to capitalize on the "brand" of MP3.



    Whenever I share songs with people, they often ask me "what is .m4a?" and I tell them "it's like .mp4, step up from .mp3, it's pretty new, you'll want to update quicktime to play it"



    that has always worked best, whenever I say "oh, it's .aac, advanced audio codec, it's a standards compliant compression codec that yields better sounding audio than both conventional .wma and .mp3" that type of response always gets a big
  • Reply 17 of 51
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    gorog is sounding more desperate with every statement he makes. "don't go with apple! they'll lead you down the garden path! follow the wma format! please!"



    steve said the iTMS works at a loss. it might ALWAYS work at a loss. it drives ipod sales. and that's the kicker. these music-only online stores with nothing else are ultimately doomed to fail. that being said, larger companies that have lots of cash to throw around (ahem... microsoft... ahem...) could float a loss leader for insane amounts of time (cough... xbox... cough). but i have to wonder how long even the richest companies would stand to lose money like this. and, of course, you can still use mp3s if you want to (and buy your own cd's and rip them...).
  • Reply 18 of 51
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    That's the real kickaha though, if a company like MS *can* hold out a loss-leading music store for long enough, it could be all they need to seriously mess up apple's market dominance.



    as soon as .wma starts to gain a strong foothold, iTMS will be in trouble.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wrong Robot

    once others start hitting the scene, all using .WMA, it could be bad news for iTMS.



    Haven't others already begun hitting the scene?
  • Reply 20 of 51
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wrong Robot

    it may end up being 4-5 .WMA stores against 2 .AAC stores, apple will have to work extra hard to keep such a decisive lead over the rest.



    There are ALREADY 4-5 WMA stores against 2 AAC stores. and 5-6 stores against Apple. Apple is winning so far. Big.
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