Competitors line up to knock off Apple’s iTunes Music Store; analysts say ‘iTMS for Windows’ by Than

“Spurred by the runaway success of iTunes, Apple Computer Inc.’s online music store, competitors are readying their own music download services in a surge of activity that record executives see pulling the music industry out of a three-year slump. A crowded field is gearing up to offer single songs for sale, including retailers Amazon.com Inc. and Buy.com, and leading Internet service providers like AOL Time Warner’s America Online,” writes Sue Zeidler for Reuters.

“Others likely to compete are a re-launched Napster, the song-swap pioneer that was idled by copyright infringement litigation in 2001, and Apple itself, which even competitors credit with demonstrating the power of an easy-to-use system and competitive pricing,” writes Zeilder. “‘There’s going to be a gold rush in the fall, with a whole bunch of services eyeing the a la carte download market,’ said Lee Black, analyst with Jupiter Research. ‘Everybody wants to get it going for Christmas.'” Apple’s service, which enables music fans to download songs for 99 cents each, sold 5 million tracks within its first eight weeks, outpacing subscription-based services launched by the record labels in their struggle to compete with free unauthorized services like Kazaa and now-shuttered Napster.”

Zeidler reports, “Now, analysts say, the race is on to copy Apple’s success for the much larger market of Windows-based PC users. Online retailer Buy.com may be the first to the finish line when it announces the launch of a new music download service in New York next Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter said. Buy.com, which made its reputation as discount Web site for electronics and consumer goods, will position itself as an alternative to Apple’s iTunes, although it has not yet secured licensing from all five major record labels, according to a record industry source. Industry sources and analysts said other competitors are also keen to launch download services before Apple introduces its promised Windows version of iTunes later this year. Analysts expect Apple to launch that expanded service by Thanksgiving to spur holiday sales of its popular iPod digital music player. The current version of iTunes is restricted to Mac users, about 3 percent of the overall computer market.”

Full article here.

5 Comments

  1. Without the backing of the five major labels I do not see how these Windows-based music stores can compete with the iTunes Music Store. Having said that, Apple must now re-evaluate its strategy to take this competition into account. Perhaps one way of reaching out to the non-Mac owning people is to install iMac kiosks in various shops where anyone would be able to buy music and burn it on a CD-R.

  2. The only way iTMS can be ported to non-Macs is to guarantee the same level of security and restrictions that currently exists on Macs in iTunes. This is not easy to do with Windows OS.

    If Apple IS able to make such a secure Windows ap, you’ll see hordes of copiers and imitators. Perhaps, Apple holds the key to this level of security and they will be the only one able to assure the music industry of its success, even on a Wintel box. But, if history is any predictor, I see Bill Gates getting all upset that someone else is a better (more secure) Windows programmer, and then Microsoft will either pirate the code or attempt to sue Apple for using some obscure subroutine that Microsoft claims is their own.

  3. Keep in mind that Apple can work it’s hardest in keeping security tight…but if Windows is not tight….some of those vulnerabilities is due to Windows not iTMS. The software is only as good as it’s OS is, as well as the hardware.

    Same way the film you buy is only as good as the lens is, as well as the camera that you buy.

  4. I find it amusing how Mac users “GET IT” in terms of supporting their favorite artists by actually PAYING for their work.

    In the Windows world where FREE is the name of the game, I seriously doubt iTUNES would be as successful. You have to keep in mind that these are the same folks who scoff at the thought of paying 10% more for a computer that last twice as long as the ones they buy from Wal-Mart.

  5. is it me or did apple mess up by not having a Windows iTMS in the can when they released the Mac version?
    why is it taking them so long (another 4 months-at least) to build a Winhoez version?
    by the time they get it done, there will be 4 or 5 already-established competitors in the PC world.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.