Yahoo pushes back launch of iTunes and iPod rivals

“Web giant Yahoo is poised to launch a new digital store and music player, aiming to compete more directly with Apple Computer’s successful iTunes service, according to sources familiar with the project,” John Borland and Jim Hu report for CNET News. “As previously reported, Yahoo has been working on the project along with digital-music wholesaler MusicNet since before the $160 million purchase of rival music company Musicmatch. Sources familiar with Yahoo’s plans said the new store and software had been scheduled to debut early this week but that the launch date was pushed back. Representatives from Yahoo and MusicNet declined to comment for this story.”

“Yahoo’s full-fledged entry into the digital-music retail business could help shift a market that has remained tilted strongly in Apple’s favor. Yahoo has already built a large and loyal following for its streaming-music and video service, and could parlay that into music sales. Indeed, the company’s Launchcast radio services was the highest-rated Webcasting service online in January, according to ratings firm Arbitron and ComScore Media Metrix, attracting more than 2.2 million people that month,” Borland and Hu report.

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Yahoo to buy MusicMatch – September 14, 2004
Yahoo cooking up iTunes-like online music service, iPod-like media player – February 04, 2004


  1. Yahoo certainly has traffic and brand recognition, but they are also stuck with the mentality that they have to do everything all at the same time.

    Apple keeps it simple. Here’s the music store, use it download and listent to music. Here’s the player. Use it to play music.

    I think Apple will remain dominant, but Yahoo has a chance to be a player. I prefer iTunes of course, but competition is good.

  2. At any time, Apple can release a firmware update to update all iPods to support other music formats. I welcome Yahoo into the arena and I expect them to be a much better competitor than Walmart and M$in’s music stores. This competition will only make iTunes and the iPod better and cheaper for us all. This gives Apple the extra incentive to do so.

  3. Wal-Mart, Cocoa-Cola, Virgin, Dell, Sony, Roxio/Napster, Real Networks and others have come and some have gone. As long as Apple keeps iyt’s eyes on the ball and keeps adding value- everything is gonna be alright. It’s really hard to hit a moving target in the lead.

  4. I wanted to watch some of their videos last night only to find this:

    Please Note: LAUNCHcast is not currently compatible with Netscape Navigator for the PC or the Mac OS X operating system.

    Go ahead… LAUNCH whatever you want… Count me out…

  5. i just wish other music players/stores were using a standard DRM. Even if I had to use QT to decode it, it would be nice for an even playing field.

    Actually, as long as Yahoo playa plays AAC then I’ll switch to check it out… I don’t do DRM.

  6. so what if they launch a new music service.

    I did NOT by my iPod because of iTunes. I bought my iPod becuase it was (and is) the hands down BEST digital music player on the market. And I have a feeling that most of you are just like me in that regard.

    I have over 7000 songs on my 40 gig. Only 12 were purchased from iTunes (and I use the term “purchased” loosely since 6 of those songs were free from Pepsi).

    IMHO, if Apple closed iTunes down tomorrow it would not impact the sales of iPods at all. People buy the PLAYERS – not the service.

  7. You have to admit that iTMS is very addicting. Unlike Chris, I do not have all the music that I want on CDs.

    The other day, I was watching Goodfellas on TV and up came an old Harry Nilsson song from the 70s. Well, within 30 seconds, I had located the tune on iTMS and downloaded it. Then, using the links and related playlists on iTMS, I identified another handful of old tunes that I downloaded.

    I did not buy ny iPod because of iTMS, but I am sure glad that the service is so well organized and easy to use.

  8. Apple most likely won’t bring out an update which lets existing iPods play other music formats… they will make new models do it, to force an upgrade. They’ve done it for years.

  9. I wonder what their model will be for actually making a profit? Ads? Apple makes its profit on the iPods it sells that are linked to the iTunes store. Selling music at $.99 a track, with 2/3 going to the RIAA doesn’t leave much to pay for the infrastructure. With Apple now selling several hundred million songs annually, it may through economy of scale be amassing enough income to cover those infrastructure costs, but who else can say that?

  10. “Sources familiar with Yahoo’s plans said the new store and software had been scheduled to debut early this week but that the launch date was pushed back.” writes John Borland and Jim Hu for CNET News.

    Maybe Yahoo heard that Virgin was shutting down their music store and, at the last minute, decided to wait.

    “Yahoo’s full-fledged entry into the digital-music retail business *could* help shift a market that has remained tilted strongly in Apple’s favor.”

    Or, after investing all of that time and money, Yahoo’s music store *could* go down in flames. Or at the very least limp along like Napster, Real, et al. The above quote sounds to me as though Borland & Hu are praying that someone, somewhere, somehow, will come up with a Windoze-centric music download store that the general public will actually give a crap about.

    Their Windoze bias is definitely showing through. I’ve said before that the Windoze hegemony, and all the parasites that make their living off of it, HATE the fact that Apple has hit a home-run with the iPod/iTunes/ITMS. It shows how lame their products really are.

    The iPod is pumping rivers of cash into Apple right now. A lot of that money is being poured back into R&D. If these guys are crapping their pants now, just wait ’til they see the stuff that’ll be coming out of Cupertino in a couple of years. They’re gonna freak.

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