Digital: Ex Post

May 24, 2005

Online Music: Rewriting the Score

Online Music: Rewriting the Score: "For years, many music execs have argued that offering online subscriptions is the best way to sell digital music. But, so far, Apple Computer (APPL ) has called the tune. The maker of the iPod music player has trounced all comers by selling more than 400 million songs through its iTunes Music Store. Meanwhile, Napster, AOL, and RealNetworks, which all offer subscriptions, have been left behind.

Now, it appears, Apple could get its first serious competition. On May 10, Yahoo! (YHOO ) unveiled its Music Unlimited service, at the introductory price of just $60 a year -- a third the price of existing services. And BusinessWeek has learned that mighty Microsoft (MSFT ) is waiting for the right moment to strike with its own low-cost introductory offer. 'When you see us move into the space,' says Rob Bennett, senior director of MSN Entertainment, 'you'll see us try very similar things.'


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