Silicon.com is among the news providers to comment on the entry of UK-based retail giant Tesco into the online music market. This follows today's announcement that Tesco is offering a package of 500,000 tracks that can be downloaded at 79p each. The tracks will operate on Windows Media Audio and the downloading facility is to be furnished by Cable & Wireless.
Tesco, already one of the largest music vendors in the UK, is reportedly making a move into the download space as part of its strategy to give its customers an online version of all its bricks-and-mortar services and a desire to get involved in the expanding market (analysts JupiterResearch predict that, by 2009, digital music in Europe will be worth €836m). The choice of Windows Media will shut out around half of all music players, given that Apple's iPod - which won't play the Windows-format songs - currently has over half of the music player market (according to Apple) and over 90% according to some analysts.
The IPKat has long admired Tesco's effort and energy and notes that the big company has done remarkably well in its battles against fellow supermarkets. It's even holding its own against Walmart puppet chain Asda. But whether Tesco can make an impact against global media giants like Apple remains to be seen. The IPKat also notes that recording companies, musicians and composers will find that their royalties are being gathered on their behalf by a relatively small band of online suppliers: this process is about as easy as royalty-gathering can be, but what will happen when the online suppliers start to squeeze each other's prices and look for marginal savings: will royalties be squeezed too?
Tesco downloads here
iPod and iTunes here
Downloading from the internet: a lawyer writes ...
Monday, 8 November 2004
Posted by Jeremy at 10:31:00 p.m.