Microsoft plans Super Bowl ad for ‘iPod killer’

“More details are now surfacing on the upcoming, Microsoft-branded portable media player, thanks to continued discussions with inside sources. Over the weekend, Digital Music News reviewed presentation materials given to various partners and top-level executives. The materials offered detailed insights into the strategy, player, software, e-commerce, and marketing aspects of the release. The materials reinforce and expand upon earlier reports, and offer a far deeper and definitive look at the player. In terms of top-level strategy, Microsoft is taking heavy cues from the iPod+iTunes combination, which has helped to propel Apple to its dominant market position,” Paul Resnikoff reports for Digital Music News. “Microsoft is aggressively aiming to capture ’20 percent’ of the iPod market, a goal that will be assisted by heavy advertising beginning in the fall”

“According to the sources, the device will offer 30GB of storage, though it will deliver the ‘same pricing, look and feel as the 60GB iPod.’ That would suggest a retail price of $399, the price point for the high-end iPod. Immediately, the sticker is likely to draw comparisons to the comparable 30GB iPod, which is available for $299,” Resnikoff reports.

“Software is an incredibly important aspect of any digital device release, and Microsoft is now aiming to create a powerful one-two punch. Guiding the approach is a “closed ecosystem paired with a branded device,” which essentially describes iPod+iTunes… the newer ecosystem will be ‘incompatible with other Windows Media services,’ placing the focus squarely on one device, and one jukebox and store,” Resnikoff reports.

“The Microsoft-branded player will be accompanied by a massive advertising campaign [that] will be ‘equivalent to the launch of the Xbox,’ beginning with a fall splash. And the Xbox community itself will be an important starting point for the campaign. Upon launch, Microsoft will create an impact though a ‘7 cities in 7 nights’ tour, which will involve big-name artists, key cities, and live performances that will be exclusively positioned as downloads ‘on the web and music store.’ Throughout, the messaging will be focused on the ‘device plus store.’ Big box retail outlets will offer a nice push. Sources note that the device will be ‘overwhelmingly sold at Target, Best Buy, and Walmart,’ and nearly 30,000 retail outlets across the US. A Super Bowl spot is also reportedly in the works.”

Full article here.
Are Microsoft really shooting for 20% of the iPod market or are they actually targeting the 20% of the market that iPod currently doesn’t own? We suspect the latter. Regardless, we hope Microsoft spends a lot of money on this. While we don’t see Microsoft’s efforts as much of a threat to iPod+iTunes, we also hope it pushes Apple by providing some measure of real competition that will drive innovation even faster.

For more on why we don’t think Microsoft can “kill” Apple’s iPod+iTunes, please read our take here.

For those wondering, we doubt that Microsoft will offer a download of their Super Bowl ad for Apple iPod.

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41 Comments

  1. Quote: “Guiding the approach is a “closed ecosystem paired with a branded device,” which essentially describes iPod+iTunes… the newer ecosystem will be ‘incompatible with other Windows Media services,’ placing the focus squarely on one device, and one jukebox and store,” Resnikoff reports.

    This should kill Napster as well as other stores using WMA. What next, the MS branded PC aimed at killing Dell et al?

  2. Apple is so doomed. After years of putting out a crappy MP3 player that only plays stolen music, there will be competition. Since Apple only makes money from the iPod we will see the end of Apple. Everyone wants an open player that they can purchase music from a variety of sources — and that runs and is developed for the real operating system – Windows. Time to short the living daylights out of Apple stock again!

  3. MacDailyNews: ” … we also hope it pushes Apple by providing some measure of real competition that will drive innovation even faster.”

    EXACTLY!

    This is GREAT news, if true. Keep pushing Apple to amke an even BETTER product! And let Apple know EVERYTHING about what you intend to do, and they’ll simply activate any of their innumerable counterattack plans.

    There is NO WAY that Jobs never would’ve accounted for something like this. As a stockholder, I absolutely LOVE IT!!!!

    Microsoft, you are just wasting your money, time, and efforts if you intend to dethrone the iPod/iTunes paradigm. Take the scraps (at great cost) and be happy! Screw your previous technology “partners” yet again!! And lose money and be distracted from SH-TSTA (or whatever the hell it’s called) even MORE!!!!!!!!!!!

    And judging by AAPL the markets apparently don’t even care about yet another “we’re gonna too” annopuncement from Redmond.

    This is so f-cking FUNNY that it’s absolutely and completely turned around my mood on an otherwise dour Monday.

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