“The online music price war has begun. Listen.com’s Rhapsody service, which offers Internet radio broadcasts and other programming for $9.95 a month, is lowering the price for burning digital music onto compact discs to 79 cents per song, the company said Wednesday,” reports AP’s Helen Jung. “The move comes just one month after Apple Computer Inc. launched an online music store, in which Macintosh users can download a song for 99 cents with few restrictions — and no monthly subscription fee.”
Jung reports, “The announcement also reflects how companies are casting about for effective strategies to lure customers in the nascent business of selling songs online. ‘We’re starting to see the business model experiments,’ said Michael McGuire, an analyst with Gartner G2.”
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In related news, Reuters reports, “‘There’s this idea from (Apple CEO) Steve Jobs that there’s only one kind of product and that is a digital download store and one type of consumer, who only wants to buy 99-cent tracks. That makes zero sense,’ said Sean Ryan, chief executive officer of Listen.com. In addition to offering streaming and track burning, Rhapsody subscribers can burn full albums or mix CDs, build their own custom Internet radio stations, listen to professionally-programmed stations, and browse music information and editorial recommendations, Ryan said.
“While Rhapsody is considered by critics to be among the easiest-to-use subscription services, it has garnered under 100,000 subscribers, according to analysts. ‘We think Apple is certainly getting a massive amount of attention, but as long as we execute and get lots of distribution now, we should be in great shape regardless of when Apple enters the Windows market,’ said Dan Sheeran, vice president of marketing for RealNetworks,” Reuters reports.
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