MSN Music Store Launches
MSN has unveiled MSN Music Store, their pay per download WMP driven system which is predicted to give Apple iTunes, Napster, and RealNetworks a run for their money in the realm of legal music download search. MSN Music Service will initially offer music downloads of 500,000 music tracks for 99 cents apiece and $9.99 per album. MSN states that it plans to have 1 million music tracks available, the same number as rival Apple offers, over the next couple of months. MSN also has licensing deals with all five major music labels and around 3,000 indie labels.
Microsoft’s MSN Music Store is not the only Windows friendly competitor giving Applie iTunes a run for their money, last week Real Networks announced their own online music store and slashed prices to $.49 per download. RealNetworks has recently launched its “Harmony” technology which makes its song downloads compatible with Apple’s iPod technology. Apple currently has a firm grasp on the online music download market with more than 100 million downloads sold to date.
RealNetworks, which distirbutes the Google toolbar it its downloads, has joined the fight for online music downloading along with Yahoo partner Napster to take a bite out of the Apple.