View Full Version : Microsoft flexes musical muscle

tlr online
18-11-03, 16:48
Microsoft Corp. confirmed Monday that it will enter the suddenly crowded online music business, a sector whose recent entrants include retailers Wal-Mart and Best Buy, along with the nascent business' leader, Apple Computer's iTunes. Ironically, the world's biggest software company is entering the business of selling songs online to U.S. consumers just as Vivendi Universal, parent of the world's largest music company, sheds its MP3.com online music unit by selling it to CNet.

Microsoft declined to divulge any details of its service, except that it is expected to launch next year. But for those searching for clues as to what it might look like, they should look toward UK MSN, which operates the MSN Music Club, whereby users purchase credits that they may spend on songs that can be burned onto CDs or, for fewer credits, songs that must reside on the users' computers.

Apple boasts that it has sold 17 million songs for 99 cents each since launching its iTunes online store in April, though CEO Steve Jobs has lamented the fact that iTunes isn't expected to turn a profit anytime soon. In fact, Jobs has said the service is a loss leader designed to sell iPods, the portable digital music player from Apple.

Several published estimates indicate that rights holders get as much as 75 cents for each song sold digitally, which doesn't leave much left over for Apple and its many competitors, including Musicmatch, MusicNow and Roxio's new incarnation of the infamous Napster. Musicmatch, MusicNow and Roxio all use Microsoft's Windows Media and digital rights management technology.

"It's a natural area for Microsoft to get into, being it's already in the media player business," Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brendan Barnicle said.

From Microsoft's viewpoint, if consumers are going to its Web site to get the player, why send them elsewhere to get the music, Barnicle theorized. Although any revenue derived by Microsoft from a music download service would be a drop in its $35 billion bucket, it's a formidable announcement still, Barnicle said.

www.hollywoodreporter.com (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com)

18-11-03, 16:54
choices, choices, choices!
Hi Boss!

tlr online
18-11-03, 16:55

Wotcha got cookin'?

18-11-03, 18:25
Not a darn thing today. looks like I'll be scrounging for dinner later. It happens, :D