Motley Fool Take: MTV, Wal-Mart will leverage brands to beat Apple iTunes Music Store

“MTV will make the hookup with MusicNet (which is a joint venture composed of RealNetworks and a trio of music companies — Warner Music, BMG, and EMI) to create and brand a new online music-download operation. MusicNet already supplies its services to Time Warner’s America Online users and will be assisting the Virgin Group in its attempt to buy some real estate in this growing arena. No specific start date has been announced, and pricing tiers have yet to be determined,” Steven Mallas writes for The Motley Fool.

“MTV will have to compete with Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and its army of iPod devices, [but…] even though MTV has its work cut out for itself, my instinct tells me it is going to do well and eventually grab a ton of the mindshare available for this sector. Why? I’ve got one word for you (and, no, it isn’t plastics): brand. The equity inherent in those three letters, coupled with the formidable relevance and resonance they hold with the technophile teens and collegiate dudes across this sphere of ours, makes me think that the cabler will be able to monetize the strong relationship with its hip viewers even further than it already does… This area is sure to grow, and my gut hunch is that either MTV or Wal-Mart will end up being the dominant players somewhere down the path,” Mallas writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The MTV service will not work directly with Apple’s iPod as we understand it – the same problem Wal-Mart, Napster, Sony, etc. face. There are over 3 million iPods in users’ hands already and the number is growing rapidly. Selling leaded gas (Real or WMA or ATRAC3) when most want unleaded (AAC) doesn’t seem like a winning proposition to us.


  1. As we have all argued several times, the iTMS is popular even if you don’t have an iPod. Apple can’t rely simply on iPod sales to make the store remain on tops. I think they are doing a great job but the big boys are begining to line up for their share of the pie. Goodbye underfunded Napster 2.0.

  2. Brand don’t mean crap if you don’t follow it up with a quality offering, which is what Apple did. So how is the other highly branded iTMS killer, Napster, doing these days?

  3. Problem with MTV, Virgin, Wal-Mart, etc. is that they are all competing against each other but they don’t sell/market a player. So, if they don’t team up with someone in the player market, all they have is songs and it’s not that seamless.

    Apple endorses/sells the iPod with their system. It’s the one everyone wants. Go to school with your Dell DJ and get laughed at, like wearing Toughskins jeans when everyone else has Levis (yeah, that dates me).

  4. Yeah, right, all Rap all the time MTV is going to beat iTMS. Uh, huh. And Wal Mart? How, when Wal Mart keeps cutting prices all the time? The labels won’t like that.

    What a joke.

  5. mtv? Wait… someone atually thing the M in Mtv stands for “music”?

    hahahahahahahahahahahha. It is to laugh.
    Perhaps MTV will have a lock on the download service for Osbournes or Newlyweds or Real World or ‘insert silly tv show here’ but not music. They gave up on music years ago.

  6. Between MTV, MTV2, VH1 and VH1 Classic they do have lots of viewers (same ownership). I know I watch VH1/VH1 Classic all the time and check to see what songs are available on iTMS.

    My mother, in her early 70s, has never seen MTV but she knows the brand name. But, people know the Napster brand name and that hasn’t helped Roxio much.

  7. Emphasize the Fool in Motley Fool.

    The reality is that nobody thinks of MTV or <strike>Wal</strike>Hell-Mart when they think about music. MTV is just a bullshit teenie-bopper reality show factory. Hey, iTMS has more videos on it than MTV!

  8. I almost fell out of my chair when I heard that “hip teens” are going to flock to the “brand” of Walmart… That is funny.

    :: wipes tear from eyes ::

    Thanks for the good laugh of the day… oh really, you’re killing me..

    For that matter, what *product* has MTV ever sucessfully launched?

  9. I doubt Walmart sells unedited tracks, since all you can buy in their stores are “clean versions” of CDs (which I can never understand why they still sell R-rated movies and don’t demand “tv versions”) That’s not a good move for adults who wish to buy the real version of songs. I like that iTunes featured “Clean” and “Explicit” versions of many popular songs.

  10. These days, I’ve not sure that the MTV brand really represents music. It doesn’t make up even a small part of their programming.

    I just love all these pieces proclaiming this service and that service, none of which have even seen the light of day, and none that will come from technical sources of anything but dubious quality, as “iTunes killers.”

  11. The comparison to selling “leaded” gas to a market demanding unleaded is fundamentally flawed. In this case, other companies have no choice but to sell music in competing formats incompatible with iPod. Apple refuses to licence AAC to anyone else.

  12. What is funny these company’s put together don’t add up to ITMS sells. Let’s face it Apple has the Microsoft advantage in this market total domination.

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