As first mentioned last week, Buy.com has officially launched a new online music store in the vein of Appleis iTunes Music Store (iTMS). The new store is called BuyMusic (BM), and the company has aggressively borrowed from Appleis success with the iTMS, especially with its commercials (more on that below).
BM is a Windows-only music download service that the company actually brags in its press release as being "powered [entirely] by Microsoft technologies including Windows Media 9 Series and Microsoft.NET framework." Not so ironically, the companyis tag line is "Music for the rest of us," a phrase that borrows on Appleis own tag line from the 1980s of Macs being "computers for the rest of us."
Much of the companyis flattery-in-the-form-of-immitation may come from the fact that Buy.comis CEO considers Steve Jobs a visionary. From an AP report:
BuyMusic founder Scott Blum called Apple CEO Steve Jobs "a visionary, but heis on the wrong platform." While Apple users constitute about 3 percent of the personal computer market, BuyMusic is targeting the
BM is charging "from 79 cents" a download, and "from US$7.95" for full albums. The "from" comes from the fact that the company is not charging a uniform price for singles and albums, due in part to the companyis inability to secure uniform licensing rights. This means that some songs are priced at 79 cents a download, but others are more a dollar. The same issue affects what users can do with the songs, as well, with BM offering an inconsistent user experience. From the same AP report:
Still, BuyMusic suffers from some of the same licensing drawbacks that the other PC-based digital music retailers have.
Jobs secured uniform licensing deals from all the record companies that allow all iTunes songs to be burned onto CD an unlimited amount of times, save for a restriction for making multiple CDs with the exact song lists. All songs on iTunes can also be transferred to up to three different computers and to the iPod, a portable digital music player.
Blum was not able to obtain uniform licensing rights from the record labels and artists. As a result, different songs on BuyMusic have different restrictions for how often, if at all, they may be burned onto CDs or copied to other PCs or portable music devices.
The companyis press release says that all five major labels are on board with the service, and also claims to have songs from "thousands of independent labels." All told, the service launched with some 300,000 songs, several thousand more than the iTMS has as of Appleis latest numbers. Apple is working to bring on independent labels now, but launched in April with a catalog exclusively from the Big Five.
As mentioned above, the format for the songs is Microsoftis WMP format. As Apple did when the company announced that the iTMS would offer songs in the AAC format, BMis Scott Blum is attempting to spin the lack of MP3 support in a positive light. From the companyis press release:
"We are doing things differently at BuyMusic.com," added Blum. "The new buzz phrase is no longer MP3 players, but idigital music playersi or DMPs, and refer to any device that is compliant with BuyMusic.comis format and DRM technology. In addition to offering more songs and catering to the PC industry, BuyMusic.com will also offer video tutorials explaining how to use the BuyMusic.com web site, download music to a DMP, or burn a CD. We wanted to make sure this store is the easiest place to download music."
Speaking of those commercials, there are three of them currently being displayed on the BM site, and two of them are directly borrowed from Appleis long-established advertising from the Switch ads to the iTMS ads. The other features BM spokesperson Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe smashing a guitar symbolizing Appleis iTMS campaign. We took the time to grab some screen shots for those who may not have software on their Macs to play WMP format files. We also offer our own captions for those having trouble following the subtle themes present in the spots.
This is the set up, to make sure you get that itis supposed to be a photo shoot for the iTMS.
Enter our hero, rock-n-roll bad boy Tommy Lee, who spies an opportunity for mischief!
Show the world how BM will smash the iTMS!
Go, Tommy! Go!
|Commercial #2, Rapperis Delight||Commercial #3, Super Freak|
You see, itis funny because sheis fat.
(Fat white people donit stereotypically like "rap.")
You see, itis funny because heis a Rabbi.
(Rabbis donit stereotypically like "funk.")
You can find more information on BM at the BM Web site.