The success of Appleis iTunes Music Store is inspiring more and more companies to give online music stores a try, according to an article in todayis San Jose Mercury News. Prior to the iTMS, record labels and companies interested in online sales were hesitant to pursue a download music service. Now things have changed. AOL, Microsoft, Amazon, RealNetworks, and Yahoo are all examining similar services. From the Mercury News article:
"What Appleis done is really deliver to all of us a proof of concept here," said Michael Bebel, president and chief operating officer of the newly reincarnated Napster. "There are definitely people out there who are willing to pay for online digital music."
And Apple made the transaction painless: Enter credit card information once, and subsequent purchases are completed with a single mouse click.
"It shows what happens when you really work to make the consumer experience as simple as possible," said Jay Samit, EMI Recorded Musicis senior vice president for digital distribution. "All we have to do is make buying music easier than stealing, and stealing a whole lot harder."
Amazon.com executives have spent the past month meeting with record labels and technology companies to offer one-click digital downloads. Before the iTunes launch, record label executives said Amazon refused to discuss what the industry calls "a la carte" downloads, for fear it would cannibalize CD sales.
Microsoft has been demonstrating its prototype of a download store to key label executives in Los Angeles. Microsoft declined to comment, but it reportedly plans to launch the service as part of MSN Music this year, although it has yet to secure content licenses.
Even America Online, which boasts the most popular online music destination, is changing its tune. It credits its music features with breaking major pop acts, including Michelle Branch, and goosing the sales of new releases from classic rock bands, including Led Zeppelin.
A range of industry players -- from Internet access providers to retailers to media companies -- are suddenly looking for a bite of the digital music market that Apple defined.
More discussion of music services and the consolidation in the industry can be found in the full Mercury Times article.