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Signs point to Google music store

updated 10:10 am EDT, Wed May 24, 2006

Google may take on Apple

Google may be planning to open its own music store that would compete with Apple's iTunes, according to one report. Citing the addition of "/music" to Google.com's robots.txt file, as well new results from the search giant's index on "google.com/music," News.com suspects that Google might be gearing up to take on Apple. Google last month reportedly met with a group of music industry executives, and has been in talks with music execs about new digital music services that may dethrone Apple in the legal download market. The search company will face difficult decisions if it decides to open an online music store, however, as it would have to choose between offering DRM-free music versus some form of copy protection scheme. DRM-free tracks could turn record labels away, while incorporating DRM into song offerings might alienate potential free-software customers.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Which way to go?

    If Google decides to go DRM (which they'll have to, if they want to offer competitive catalogue), there are only two players in the field - FairPlay or PlayForSure (AAC WMA). It is unlikely that Apple would license FairPlay to Google. Therefore, they're stuck with WMA and with access to no more than 18% of today's global MP3 player market (i.e. just to the non-iPod users). In other words, Napster, Rhapsody, AOL, Yahoo and all others will now have Google breathing down their necks.

    Apple still has nothing to worry about, as long as the Ecosystem is alive and well.

  1. GodsiPod

    Joined:

    0

    probably just a referral

    store for the iTMS. Easier way to make money for Google is get 1cent or 2cents per click to a sing rather than deal with the mess of it all.

  1. Ashari

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    RE: which way to go?

    Apple still has nothing to worry about, as long as the Ecosystem is alive and well.

    You mean that Apple has nothing to worry about as long as (1) the iPod remains the top selling MP3 player on the market and (2) the government doesn't declare Apple a "monopoly" and force Apple to open FairPlay.

    As far as (1) goes, it isn't likely, for the foreseeable future, that Apple will lose their position. I think that they are headed for Sony Walkman like success (meaning that they have to sell another 150 Million iPods to catch up) and I don't see that changing any time soon.

    (2) is what we need to worry about. If they get 90+% of the market, then they are by definition a monopoly and therefore should be regulated, in order to prevent price gouging and bad corporate behavior. This isn't going to happen for a while, maybe 3 or 4 years, so we'll be fine for that long at least.

  1. mvitel

    Joined:

    0

    Monopoly

    [quote]"(2) is what we need to worry about. If they get 90+% of the market, then they are by definition a monopoly and therefore should be regulated, in order to prevent price gouging and bad corporate behavior."[/quote]

    Uhm, a Monopoly is not defined by market share. It is using your "weight" to prevent fair competition within a given market.

    That is a huge far cry from simply "having alot of iPods out there because its really popular"

    Go look up the definition of Monopoly again and read a few court cases on declared monopolys.

  1. fletcher

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Monopoly

    Monopoly also depends on the market. Do "MP3 Players" represent a market unto themselves or are they merely part of a larger music player market also including CD players, tape players, portable radios, etc? With cell phones and PDAs playing music as well, and iPods playing video and functioning as pedometers, the question of market gets even more muddy.

  1. jayparry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    give up people

    these competitors to ipod/itunes are wasting their friggin time. give up and find a new gadget.

  1. Bennyboy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    exactly

    Jayparry is right. Why is everybody trying to re-invent the wheel. The iPod has the market for music right now, make something else. How about a friggin cell phone that works when you want to use it???

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: monopoly

    Uhm, a Monopoly is not defined by market share. It is using your "weight" to prevent fair competition within a given market.

    Do you mean like how Apple uses their market dominance of the iTMS to basically force the labels to sell music at Apple's price, and not the other way around?

    Or do you mean like how Apple uses their market dominance of the iPod by not adding the ability to play music from other online stores, and not licensing Fairplay to allow others to produce content to play on the device, thus leveraging the iPod to drive business to the iTMS?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: exactly

    Jayparry is right. Why is everybody trying to re-invent the wheel. The iPod has the market for music right now, make something else.

    Yeah, let's see. Someone has dominance, so let's not even bother trying to have competition. Glad nobody follows this theory, as we'd only be driving Fords, using IBM PCs, running Windows, etc, etc, etc.

    The reason everyone's trying to re-invent the wheel is because its a freakin' large market, and with lots of room for growth. If you're too stupid to not try to get a piece of that just because someone's already selling something that's popular, you have no practical future as a businessperson.

    BTW, the iPod was just re-inventing the wheel as well, as there were already hard-drive based MP3 players out there. They made a better one. If apple can do it, why not someone else?

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Oh well...

    ...I see testudo just can't seem able to ever generate a post that isn't mired by his particular cluelessness...

    Anyway, while I find it continuously amusing to see any new entry in the music download field labeled as potential competition to iTunes/iPod, it is amazing how little either the reporters, or the entrants, really 'get it'

    Any music download service that goes the WMA really only competes with the existing WMA services - Napster, Real, Urge, etc.. A new entry into this market will only serve to fracture this 18% market segment further.

    Though, it is nice to see that Microsoft's contribution with WMA really only has resulted in all those signing up for it to further fracture their own market, and lose more and more money. I guess they must make it up in volume?

    As long as no one manages to create a similar start-to-finish ecosystem, and provides a better moustrap, there can't even be a hint of competition in the inept offerings from these other players.

    There's a saying, regarding the definition of stupidity: "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". At this stage, the WMA players in this market (both definitions) are all losing money, and they all effectively do the exact same thing each of their competitors does - same subscription offers, same pricing, same lame marketing arguments, same tie ins with ineffecive players. That's called 'stupid'

    When, in fact, it would be so damn easy to compete with the iPod/iTunes systems by embracing it. If I can figure his out, why can't they?

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