“With Microsoft’s muscle backing it up, Viacom’s MTV will enter the digital music and content field by launching the public beta of its URGE music and video store Wednesday,” Alyce Lomax writes for The Motley Fool. “Will this add up to big problems for Apple, the current top dog of digital music?”
Lomax writes, “Although URGE will make content available to 100 different devices, the big deal is that it won’t play on Apple’s iPods. (Bear in mind that some of Viacom’s video content is available through iTunes.) While I do have to give a lot of points to this musical offering given MTV’s content and clout, the iPod/iTunes juggernaut is still the hip spot. (Given recent developments, like lower price points on iPod offerings, Apple has no intention of easing up, either.) URGE will probably appeal only to those who have no interest in Apple’s products — which should add up to a more urgent competitive concern for the likes of RealNetworks, Napster, Sony, and the rest than it will for Apple.”
Full article here.
Apple’s Holy Trinity, iPod+iTunes+iTunes Store, will remain unaffected. There are simply too many iPods out there. Without access to iPod, URGE will be left to fight it out in the same old depressing “Also-Ran Shakeout” over Apple’s leftover crumbs. It’s two, two sad consolation races in one! The first contest determines who can supply content to devices used by few and the second will show us who gets to provide devices to play content from services that few people use. The losers get nothing and the “winners” get to eat Apple’s leftovers – which may prove to be a source of some nice profits or we probably wouldn’t still be seeing new entrants like URGE.
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MTV’s and Microsoft’s iPod-incompatible URGE online music outfit faces uphill battle – May 15, 2006
Oppenheimer downgrades RealNetworks based on Microsoft’s ‘URGE’ partnership with MTV – December 15, 2005
MTV-Microsoft URGE music service not targeting iPod, iTunes users; Real CEO PlayedForSure? – December 13, 2005
MTV and Microsoft team up for new digital music service ‘URGE’ – December 13, 2005