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iTunes rivals may actually boost Apple

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Wed August 22, 2007

Rivals may spur iPod sales

As competitors mount new offenses, seeking to dethrone or at least chip away at iTunes' dominance in the digital download space, their efforts may only prove to buoy Apple's iPhone sales and the prominence of its iTunes store according to a series of analysts. "iTunes was developed to promote iPod hardware sales," said Susan Kevorkian, an analyst at research firm IDC told the LA Times. "The introduction of services that offer digital music to the installed base of iPod users will help drive more iPod sales." Aiding Apple is the fact that most competitors need to ensure iPod compatibility for their tracks in order to be viable. Wal-Mart's online store, for instance, offers unrestricted MP3 format files that "play on almost all portable media devices, including Apple iPod and Microsoft Zune."

RealNetworks and Viacom's MTV division, meanwhile, are teaming to deliver a subscription-based online music sales venture -- a model that has yet to prove successful. Heralding the end of MTV's "Urge" digital music service, which was launched in tandem with Microsoft, the new store will be promoted heavily on MTV's television channels and apparently carry the same Rhapsody moniker that has been promulgated by RealNetworks. Rhapsody currently charges users a monthly fee starting at $13 to listen to an unlimited number of songs. Like other subscription services, when users stop paying their membership fee for Rhapsody, they can no longer access or play the company's stocked music.

In Apple's most recent quarterly fiscal report, music-related sales accounted for 40 percent of the Cupertino-based company's total revenue during the quarter, surging 33 percent year-over-year thanks to strong iTunes Store sales. Research firm NPD also recently announced that the iTunes Store has become the third largest overall music retailer in the U.S. above Amazon and Target.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ebeyer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Their music store site only works on Win-doze and only with MS Internet Exploder. Feh!

  1. Beechlady

    Joined: Dec 1969


    INDEED, not

    as ebeyer said

    NO DOWNLOADS FOR US (Mac users). But, then again, Big Box Mart is about as smart as I don't bother looking anymore. Susan needs to either hire better flunkies or do her research better.

  1. anthology123

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPod yes, Mac no

    The article states the MP3 files from Wal-mart will work with an Apple iPod, but did not say it would work with a Mac. So you can likely use a Windows based iPod, just not a Mac-based one.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Maybe she's...

    Maybe she's related to the infamous Dr. Death?

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iTunes made for iPod???

    "iTunes was developed to promote iPod hardware sales," said Susan Kevorkian, an analyst at research firm IDC told the LA Times.

    I supposed that explains why iTunes was created several years before the iPod (even longer if you count the Sound Jam years). Perhaps she meant the iTunes Music Store, but would you trust an analyst or a research firm who can't get basic terminology correct?

  1. McDave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Paying for 1980's digital audio technology? Why?

    I can see they'd boost iPod sales and iTunes sales - why use a clunky disjointed service when you can use a slick one?

    Aren't the Mac & MacBook's current outpacing of PC sales growth related to iPod increasing market awareness of Apple? Therefore the other services will sell more Macs


  1. WaltFrench

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nothing to see here...

    If even 25% of the tracks are "universal" MP3's, then, to save a few pennies and have DRM-free music, iPod users face 3:1 odds that the music they want will NOT be playable on their iPod.

    Unless you keep track of which bands are on which labels, something that seems like pretty close to janitorial work to keep something working, and is the antithesis of the iPod approach.

    Hard to imagine that iPod users will waste their time so wantonly by picking & choosing here. The WalMart site is primarily for people who bought their kids the $50 BrandX MP3 players and let them listen to the 50 songs that fit on 'em, or the almost-a-million! Zune users who buy music online and haven't hooked up with a subscription site.

    Good luck to WalMart in aiming at the low-end of the market. But they make their money by selling mass merchandise at low costs, so don't count 'em out.

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