“Some of the Internet’s biggest names are looking to take a bite out of Apple Computer Inc.’s novel online music venture, report Jeff Leeds and Jon Healey for the L.A. Times. “Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and AOL Time Warner Inc.’s America Online unit are among the companies expected to launch services to compete with Apple’s 6-week-old iTunes store, which charges 99 cents to download a song onto a personal computer. Viacom Inc.’s MTV, another popular Web destination, is also exploring a download venture, according to sources.”
“The possible foray by major Internet players into online music downloads is testimony to the vision of Apple chief Steve Jobs, who debuted his music service April 28. But it also signals that the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer company’s early lead may be short-lived… Apple’s quick success in the music business has underscored the lack of appeal of online services created by the record companies,” Leeds and Healey report.
“Microsoft has recently shown its version of a downloadable music store to executives at several record companies. Sources said Microsoft plans to give consumers more music-related information to guide their purchases than the iTunes Music Store does, and that its store might be accessible via Xbox game consoles as well as computers. Microsoft officials declined to comment,” Leeds and Healey report.
Andrew Lack, chairman of Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment is quoted as saying, “What we’ve got now are the biggest minds in the business working on digital music sales and solutions. That is going to increasingly be the lead story in the digital world.”
Full article here.