iTunes Victim: MSN Music Halts Sales of Music Downloads

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By: switchtoamac at: 11:44 AM on November 3, 2006 | Comments (0)
Just over two years after launching the MSN Music Store in September 2004, Microsoft will stop selling downloads from the site.  Chalk up another victim to Apple's market leading iTunes Store.

 As of November 14, MSN's music redirect music purchasers to either the Zune Marketplace Web site or to RealNetworks' Rhapsody service.

When Microsoft launched MSN Music, the company believed purchases could be played on numerous Windows Media-compatible devices and it would serve as a viable alternative to Apple's iPod and iTunes Store.  Microsoft will now focus it's attention on the upcoming Zune media player and the Zune Marketplace music service.

In a blog post, JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg states:

"I’m surprised Microsoft didn’t try to offer something like replacement for existing content in either Rhapsody or Zune formats. Either way, it shows the problems of picking the wrong format in a format war, especially when one format owns >75% of the market. I wonder how many of these folks will end up going neither to REAL or Zune and in the end, just buying an iPod."

Switch To A Mac Commentary
Apple has demonstrated that an integrated hardware and software strategy can be embraced by customers as long as it offers a compelling user experience.  The success and greater than 75 percent share of the legal music download market demonstrates the Apple's strategy is not only popular but viable.  The success of the iPod and iTunes store speaks for itself.  Microsoft will now attempt to follow a similar model with Zune.

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