Sony plans new angle of attack on Apple’s market-dominating iPod

“If ever there was a company that could challenge Apple Computer for the dominant position in the still-young digital music space, it should be Sony,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for Forbes. “And yet, it isn’t. Despite the strength of its now decades-old Walkman brand, Sony’s various moves into the digital music player market and online music sales have come in fits and starts with little notable success. Sony’s online music channel, Sony Connect, accounts for only a modest bite of the overall music download market, compared to 70% or more (depending on whom you ask) for Apple’s iTunes Music Store.”

Hesseldahl writes, “But, Sony is mounting a new attack from an unlikely direction: video games. Sony’s forthcoming Playstation Portable (PSP)–a handheld gaming platform–will be primarily a gaming device. But, its use of a new Sony-created storage disc format–the Universal Media Disc, which stores nearly two gigabytes–can’t help but become an easy method for selling music. The plan, says Andrew House, executive vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, is to get the device in consumers’ hands primarily as a gaming device and then use it to market music and video.”

Full article here.


  1. IMHO, there is a real paucity of the number of new disc formats that are going to succeed in the future. Remember Divx or the Sony MiniDisc? Even DVD-HD may have troubles finding a foothold in the future.

    If Sony is creating a new disc format just for the Playstation Portable, does this have any chance of actually gaining enough marketshare for retailers to carry it? (My guess: no.)

  2. How does yet another disc format make it easy to sell music? The mini-Disc didn’t do so great here in the US. Neither did DAT (as a consumer audio product).

    The disk isn’t making the case, it’s other devices that could hold music (presumabley downloaded to the device, not another disc format to stick in it) like a cell phone or handheld gaming platform, maybe even a PDA with a small hard drive.

    We’ve learned from Iomega that the discs don’t make the product, it is the ability to add data to it quickly in the format you want that does.

  3. a. It seems to me that their best angle of attack would be waving a white flag.

    b. Why does everyone keep bringing up that just because they had a major impact/hit at one time with the Walkman it means they should be the best source of competition today? Not relevant. The external environment has changed greatly since then.

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