Yahoo, according to media reports, is privately exploring ways to develop a music download service that rivals the iTunes model of digital per song sales that Microsoft and America Online have adapted.
Such a player could easily be installed in Yahoo Messenger updates with buddy icons reflecting favorite songs or artists, Yahoo’s companion toolbar, or Yahoo Personal members could send a romantic song to their Internet honey pies; at the simple click of a mouse and a small 99 cents payment, and of course – in search results. The move into paid downloads only makes since for the Yahoo Internet Monster, who has redefined their search capabilities and soundly integrated Overture sponsored text advertising into their highly profitable mega portal.
According to a report on News.com, Yahoo purchased the music software developer Mediacode in December in efforts to create a digital jukebox and media playe – the key components in many music download services.
Paid music downloads would be a change from Yahoo’s streaming media music strategy which has been the core behind Launch, a subsidiary that it bought for $12 million in 2001. However, it would be a sound decision for Yahoo who has been two steps behind Apple and AOL as these companies have rolled out their own pay-per-download models.
News.com also reports that Yahoo has held discussions with Musicmatch, BuyMusic, and Roxio (Napster’s parent company) in efforts to acquire the technology for setting up their online paid download service for music singles.