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Sony Plans To Launch iTMS Competition

Sony Plans To Launch iTMS Competition

by , 8:00 AM EDT, September 5th, 2003

iTunes Music Store, Buy.com, MusicMatch's service, Microsoft's service... Is there room for one more? According to an article at MSNBC, Sony thinks so. Sony's planned service, dubbed Net Music Download, will show up in Japan first, and will then make its way to the US and Europe. Sony claims that such services will be vital to fight rampant music swapping on the internet. From MSNBC:

Sony's so-called "Net Music Download" plan will be introduced next spring in the U.S. and Europe, following a launch in Japan.

Sir Howard Stringer, Sony's vice-chairman and head of the group's entertainment operations, told the company's annual dealer conference that such moves were vital to stem losses from Internet piracy.

Speaking in Paris, he claimed that piracy had cost the music industry some $7 billion in the past two years while U.S. film studios had lost $3 billion-$4 billion.

You can read the full article at MSNBC's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

The article is very light on details, so it is unknown what kind of service it will be and what it will cost to use. A CNN report that aired several hours after the MSNBC piece was published also had very few details on the new service, including no information on pricing.

Sony has undoubtedly seen Apple's success with the iTMS, and wants a share of the pie for itself. Of course, competition is almost always a good thing, and this is especially the case in such a new market as online music distribution. The bottom line is that Sony is a power house in the consumer world, and its brand name is going to bring a lot of attention to this space.

Something else to consider, for those keeping score at home, is the fact that Sony has its own catalog of music. Sony is one of the Big 5, and that means that it will have an edge on all the third party music services. There's built in profit when you are retailing your own product, instead of reselling someone else's product. If it so chose, Sony could even undercut the other music services if it was only selling its own catalog. That isn't likely, however, as Sony will need music from other catalogs to truly be competitive.

In any event, the legal download business just got that much more interesting.

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