Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another iTunes "Challenger"

Advert-powered 'iTunes killer' takes to the stage - The Register (65.63 -1.35)

From www.briefing.com, In Play, 11:12 am
As mentioned at 6:06, Vivendi's (V) Universal Music is backing a start-up that will allow customers to download songs free of charge... The Register reports a new legal music download service will be launched in December which will offer MP3s free at the point of delivery. New York-based Spiralfrog says its site will be fully funded by advertising. Research apparently revealed consumers were willing to suffer ads for products relevant to them in exchange for free tunes. The standard download charge at iTunes is currently at 0.79 or $0.99 per track. Whether Spiralfrog's entry will prompt a rethink at the dominant player remains to be seen, but industry watchers are already pondering the implications. Ovum analyst Michele Mackenzie said: "There is no mention of which audio codec or DRM solution will be used, although it is very likely that the record labels will insist on some DRM being in place. If it indeed becomes a major force, the rest of the "big four" record cos - Sony (SNE) BMG, Warner (WMG) and EMI - are sure to follow Universal's lead and clamber on board. And then Apple will really have something to think about.

8/29/2006 12:10:00 PM

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