Napster, OD2 fire ‘preemptive PR volleys’ against Apple’s Euro iTunes Music Store

“As the old chestnut has it, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But in the high-stakes and fast-moving world of digital music sales, compliments like that can kill. In the U.S., we’ve long heard about plans from Wal-Mart, Sony, and others to elbow their way into Apple’s growing music market,” Seth Jayson writes for The Motely Fool.

“Today, a couple of powerhouses in the European download wars fired a pair of preemptive PR volleys, trying to take back a bit of the press that Jobs and Co. are hoping to monopolize with a European launch for iTunes… Roxio’s Napster today announced a partnership with NTL, the U.K.’s leading broadband provider… and today, OD2 also turned up the heat in anticipation of iTunes’ arrival, announcing its SonicSelector service, which will allow Web users to stream music for as little as 1 pence (U.K.) per song via a plug-in for Windows Media Player 9. Songs can also be downloaded the more traditional way for 0.5 euros per track,” Jayson reports.

“So far, Apple’s been the only one to profit from digital music with any consistency, though the iPod does much better than iTunes. Roxio’s prospects look mixed, and behemoths like Microsoft and Wal-Mart can afford to screw things up. With a winning formula for service and hype, this is Apple’s game to lose, but given Cupertino’s sketchy computer sales, the firm depends heavily on the digital music biz, where anything can happen,” Jayson writes.

Full article here.

16 Comments

  1. Sketchy computer sales?

    Anyway, perhaps Apple isn’t going to fair as well in Europe because they’ve been put off for so long with things like iTMS and iPhoto album publishing. There’s a bit of hard feelings there, and wether or not they translate into sub-par sales will be determined in time.

    Let the European music wars begin…

  2. Over 50% of people who buy Macs at Apple Stores are new to the platfrom, said Steve Jobs earlier this weekend.

    IMO Cupertino’s sketchy sales are getting ready to flourish…

  3. There’s a bit of hard feelings towards anything American these days. Apple was and is not at fault in getting iTMS into Europe. There are massive regulations to overcome. The fact that Apple seems to have been able to get iTMS there in a reasonably short time after getting things going in the U.S. is commendable. There will always be people who are not satisfied. They can always purchase CDs or continue to steal on the internet. As long as artists, regulations and labels have to be dealt with, there will always be delays and problems to overcome.

  4. <<perhaps Apple isn’t going to fair as well in Europe because they’ve been put off for so long>>

    You seem to forget that iPod’s are just as wildly successful in Europe as in America. In fact, the UK market rivals that of NYC. It’s the combination of iTunes and iPod that make it such a hit. In Europe, like the US, there is no real competitor to the iPod+iTunes ecology. it hasn’t even been a year since the US Windows release of iTunes, Apple will be releasing both Mac and Windows versions of the store tomorrow for Europe. So if you look at the combined EU market as equivalent to the USA, Apple can easily double their download business in the next few months.

  5. “the firm depends heavily on the digital music biz”

    Who knew. I always figured they did ok with computers considering the $4 billion+ they managed to collect selling pretty much only computers. Both operations seem to be pretty much independently profitable.

    He’s right that it’s Apple’s game to lose. They need to talk real money, though. What the hell is a “pence” and a “euro?” Sheesh. Americans go and invent the dollar and the europeans muck it all up trying to improve it. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Well im gonna do my bit for Apple!

    I genuinely feel itunes music store is the best out there – Apple’s track record for innovative, simple and easy to use products is virtually flawless.

    When Itunes Music Store is launched in the UK tomorrow im gonna be spending, spending and spending!!

    Im not interested in any of the other ‘music stores’!

  7. Sketchy computer sales?

    Somebody needs to change their name to “Motley F***ing Idiots,” or “Global Village (F***ing) Idiots” after comments like these!

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