Yahoo Launching Music Download Service This Year
After its $160 million aquisition of MusicMatch, Yahoo is expected to be releasing its own music download service at the end of the year. According to ZDNet, Yahoo has been in the development phase of its music download service since last year, working with MusicNet. However, the MusicMatch acquisition gives Yahoo a finished product to tweak, perhaps making it the final piece to the Yahoo music puzzle.
Yahoo may, however, be introducing a double music downlaod service of the Yahoo Music Player AND a revamped MusicMatch, keeping MusicMatch members happy and introducing a brand new product to Yahoo loyalists. ZDNet reports “The Web giant is likely to run the two services side by side for some time before ultimately drawing on Musicmatch’s technology and moving Musicmatch’s subscribers into the Yahoo fold, sources said.”
Yahoo is not entering this paid download field without rivals however. They will have Apple iTunes, Microsoft’s MSN Music Store, RealNetworks (which has a limited Google distribution partnership) and Yahoo partner Napster to worry about. However, Yahoo is now again entering an incredibly popular and high dollar market. Digital music sales are expected to grow rapidly in the near future, particularly with the increasing availability of broadband access. Music subscription sales are expected to grow from $113 million this year to $890 million in 2009, while digital downloads are anticipated to reach $803 million in 2009, compared to $158 million for 2004
With the MusicMatch aquisition Yahoo brought on an entire hoopla of music features to their network. MusicMatch’s assetts include Musicmatch Jukebox software, which allows consumers to play, burn, download, discover, and organize an entire music collection; the online Musicmatch Radio network, which offers free and premium streaming access to more than 900,000 songs and more than 200 pre-programmed stations; and the Musicmatch Music Store a la carte song download service, which offers access to more than 700,000 tracks. Most recently, the company introduced the Musicmatch On Demand streaming music subscription service, providing unlimited access to more than 700,000 songs from any computer as well as legal music sharing through its innovative “Send to a Friend” feature.