MTV To Launch Its Own iTMS Competitor In 2004

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"I want my MTV downloads." Thatis what Viacom, the corporate owners of MTV hope that MTV viewers will be saying some time next year. Reuters is reporting that MTV is planning on launching its own foray in the wild and woolly world of music downloads sometime next year. MTV head honcho Tom Freston says that the service will specifically be competing against Appleis iTunes Music Store, which was released in the Windows world last month.

MTV will be going up against the iTMS, BuyMusic.com, Roxiois Napster 2, MusicMatch, and other services that have rushed to market in the last few months. All but the iTMS are reliant upon Microsoftis Windows Media 9 technology, while the iTMS uses a combination of the AAC open standard and Appleis own DRM scheme, called FairPlay. There are no details as to what technologies MTV will adopt for its service.

MTV Networks is preparing to launch a music download service with plans to go up against Apple Computer Inc.is iTunes and other competitors, said MTV chief Tom Freston on Monday.

Freston, who addressed investors at the Harris Nesbitt Gerard Playtime conference, said the as-yet-unnamed service would debut within the first half of next year, but gave few details.

"It will compete with iTunes and everyone else," he told Reuters in an interview.

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"Thereis no doubt itis a strong brand, with a strong profile of viewers," said Phil Leigh, senior analyst at Inside Digital Media, about MTVis plans. "But they canit rely solely on their brand come next year ... After iTunes launched in April, MTV should have been like a hawk on a field mouse."

Thereis more information in the full story at CBS Marketwatchis Web site.

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