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Saturday, January 07, 2006

iTunes : Standard For Digital Music

Verizon launches as service that lets customers download music to mobile phones wirelessly, as well as transfer songs to cell phones from PCs. By doing so Verizon is ready to take on Cingular and Sprint who have launched similar services recently. Verizon says it'll one-up rivals with a 1 million song music library and other improvements. Next up is a subscription offering. Instead of paying per song download, it will let users pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited downloads. As can be seen Verizon and other wireless firms hope music services will follow ring tones as a big revenue generator. The approach is to give users flexibility in how they get songs — via PCs at home or via wireless phones. The Motorola iTunes phone offered by Cingular downloads songs from PCs, but it has yet to offer over-the-air downloads. MTV announced plans for an online music service called Urge with partner Microsoft. Verizon projects that data services - driven by music, games and its already popular ringtone offerings- will account for 25 percent of revenues by about 2011, up from 6 percent today.
Key things to note:
- While countries like Japan and Korea are mobile centric these services are very popular while the US is highly PC centric - Verizon’s PC offering may be seen as more costly than that of iTunes, on the face of it.
- iPods design can’t be matched by mobile phones - They are soon as more hip.
- Next week Macworld may see some more pathbreaking annoucements from Apple to further fortify its unassailable leadership
For now, iTunes shall reign supreme – it is after all the standard for digital music.

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