Yahoo to launch online music service without Apple iPod compatibility

“With the MTV movie awards at the end of August in Miami, Yahoo is planning a huge kickoff campaign, including ‘guerilla street teams to help educate consumers on the benefits of Yahoo! Music Unlimited.’ More information from the Motley Fool (requires registration to access) states that ‘Subscription-downloaded tracks expire when your subscription expires. So to keep accessing your tracks, you need to pay the standard $0.99 a song and download it individually. And, after reading through much fine print, you realize that these songs are not compatable with the iPod because they are downloaded by Yahoo! in Windows Media Audio format,'” Wendy Boswell writes for

“What? No iPod? I was just at the Apple store this weekend drooling over iPods and since the big birthday is coming up here soon, I’m dropping heavy hints. If Yahoo really intends to compete in the digital download market they’re going to have to include iPod-compatible offerings. However, since Yahoo is providing a huge variety of songs (over one million) at such a low monthly price, you can check them out relatively cheap and then decide later on if you want to purchase them. So that kind of makes up for the whole non-iPod stuff. Maybe. But I’m wondering what Yahoo marketing is thinking, exactly, since the main demographic they’re targeting at the MTV Music awards with the crack teams of roving guerilla evangelists are exactly the ones who are buying all the iPods,” Boswell writes.

Full article here.
Yeah, what the heck is Yahoo thinking with this “whole non-iPod stuff?” wink

Luckily, Apple iPod users have the world’s number one online music store, Apple’s iTunes Music Store, ready and waiting with music, audio books, podcasts, and more.

Come to think of it, maybe the lack of iPod compatibility is the root of the problems all of these Windows Media-based online music stores are having?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Yahoo! to launch ‘agressive’ campaign for online music subscription service on MTV – August 18, 2005
BusinessWeek: Apple unlikely to launch music subscription service – August 15, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Yahoo music, iPod, cellphones, ‘Halo Effect,’ viruses and more – May 23, 2005
Analyst: Yahoo’s music entry threatens Napster and RealNetworks more than Apple – May 12, 2005
Yahoo’s music play hurts Napster, RealNetworks; may force Apple to offer iTunes subscription service – May 12, 2005
Napster To Go Soon? Reports $24.3 million net loss on $17.4 million net revenue – May 12, 2005
J.P. Morgan: Yahoo music service ‘does little to break Apple’s tight grip’ on digital music market – May 11, 2005
Yahoo launches Napster To Go, Rhapsody To Go killer (takes aim at Apple’s iTunes Music Store?) – May 11, 2005
RealNetworks drops 21%, Napster plummets 30% on Yahoo music news – May 11, 2005
Study shows Apple iTunes Music Store pay-per-download model preferred over subscription service – April 11, 2005


  1. I don’t want to rent my music and pay for it and then pay for it again when I buy it. I can always listen to the radio and find the songs I like or just listen to a sample on iTunes. And if it isn’t iPod compatible Yahoo is like all the rest of them, worthless! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Why are people blaming Yahoo for lack of compatibility with iPod? I thought that was because Apple refused to license FairPlay. It doesn’t really bother me that Apple refuses, but it’s not fair to blame Yahoo for that.

  3. Look, I know millions of songs are being downloaded, the iTMS numbers ARE there. BUT, why is everyone getting all crazy over this? No matter what, I still prefer to purchase an actual CD – I’ll spend the extra two dollars to actually have a copy in my hand.

    Sheesh…this reminds me of the Underpants Gnomes from South Park and/or the Dot Com Boom…

    Business Plan:
    1) Collect all Underpants
    2) ?????
    3) PROFIT!!!!

    Are none of these online music stores developing a business plan? COME ON!

  4. I agree with you Jake. If Apple won’t license fairplay, then how can they be compatible?

    The services have to include some sort of DRM (I’m sure the music industry sees to that).

    I drink the koolaid just like the rest of us, but the truth is, Apple is the one not allowing this to happen and is causing the problems. As long as the iPod stays so popular then everything will be fine, but Microsoft is making a lot of inroads with WM and the DRM never seems to work with Macs, which does suck.

    my 2cents

  5. Jake –

    You’re correct. Boswell’s line that Yahoo is going to “have to include iPod offerings” shows a lack of understanding of the problem. You can bet dollars to doughnuts that Yahoo had the obligatory meeting with Don CorleApple, kissed the ring, and begged for FairPlay on this, the occasion of his daughter’s wedding. But the Godfather was not moved, and he dismissed them with a wave of his hypocritcal hand, as he was late for an interview where he would tout Apple’s embracing of an open source world.

    The sheep around here tend to bleat (angrily) over any uninformed comment that maligns Apple, and bleat (merrily) over the ones that praise it, but there’s precious little analysis of the content.

  6. On the subject of Yahoo’s offering in general, this one presents a *real* functionality that iTMS does not (yet) – they’ve got the purchases for 99 cents, PLUS for $5 a month you have unlimited try-out of everything. It’s not too much to spend monthly for full-blown access to all the music. Buy the ones you want to “own” as you go.

    Yahoo’s service + an easy-to-use hack to allow these tracks to be played on iPod = a possible threat to iTMS.

    Of course, that assumes they’ve got a decent music catalog to choose from. On this particular day, if they’ve got the Hustle & Flow soundtrack, they’re leaps and bounds ahead of Apple.

  7. Yahoo could always ask to be Apple’s partner in the whole iTunes Music Store thing like AOL is today. They could promote it madly on their SBC Yahoo dsl service, which would be great for Apple.The reason why Yahoo won’t do this (if they have any intelligence at all they certainly brought up the idea) is because rival AOL is already partnered with Apple, and Yahoo already has their own music video/streaming site that’s been around far longer than iTMS.

  8. Yeah, what the heck is Yahoo thinking with this “whole non-iPod stuff?” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    “Come to think of it, maybe the lack of iPod compatibility is the root of the problems all of these Windows Media-based online music stores are having?”

    Good ones, MDN!

  9. I have to agree, it’s not fair to blame Yahoo (or anyone else) for the fact that their store isn’t compatible with the iPod. Personally, I think it’s time that Apple offers FairPlay to any music store (but not any players) that wants it, maybe even without a licensing fee. I don’t think it will eat iTMS’s marketshare much but even if it did, the bulk of the money comes from the iPod, not iTMS. What it would do is ensure that people will continue to buy iPods, even if they fall from grace (as so many unbelievably popular things eventually do – look at Hootie and the Blowfish ; ) ). More importantly, it would cement AAC and FairPlay as the standard and cut Microsoft off at the knees.

  10. There is always a rush for Apple to open up the iPod to everyone else.

    Funk that. Interoperability? Cry me a river.

    As soon as MS makes it so I can buy songs from the other stores on my mac. Then we can talk.
    As soon as MS makes it so Mac’s Messenger can IM at full strength with PC Messenger. Then we can talk.
    As soon as Y! makes it so Mac’s Messenger can IM at full strength with PC Messenger. Then we can talk.
    As soon as Y! makes it so My Y! Calendar, Address Book, and otehr services are at full strength with my mac. Then we can talk.
    As soon as Y! makes it so thier Fantasy football add ons work on my mac then we can talk.

    All this crying that Apple is hindering the adoption of digital downloads by locking people out of the iPod really pisses me off when many of the same parties don’t bat an eye at the fact they are ignoring Apple’s OSX users and giving them partial services.

    Fine you can put songs on an iPOd from Y!, Napster, etc. but only Britany Spears and Raffi songs.

    I wonder how thier users would feel to be on the other side of the fence.

  11. iPod and iTunes are products competing in the market which successfully work for 99% of computer users. Why should Apple hand over market share to others for the sake of allowing them easier market entry??

    Apple is rightly receiving the rewards of creating the best solution, the best products and the best software…

    It will be the same for the Mac and OSX in the medium term too.

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