updated 11:15 am EDT, Thu October 5, 2006
Best Buy takes on Apple
Retail giant Best Buy today announced that it will join forces with RealNetworks and SanDisk to launch a new online music store, increasing competition with Apple and threatening Microsoft's recent move into the digital music market. The new music store will take advantage of Sansa music players, which offer support for Real's Rhapsody DNA subscription method to automatically download recommended music as a listener's music habits develop over time. Best Buy, RealNetworks, and SanDisk are hoping that the integration of a retail store, an online store, and a music player will mimic Apple, according to Electronista. Subscriptions will cost $15 per month, and the new online music service will launch alongside the players on October 15th.
Best Buy also said it will offer incentives to shoppers who purchase the compatible Sansa e200R-series players from its retail outlets: new owners will receive a free two-month subscription to the Best Buy online store, allowing them to download an unlimited number of songs during that time.
"The customer expects everything to work together," said Jennifer Schaidler, vice president of music for Best Buy.