Internet Salsa

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Who is Challenging Itunes?

You have to admire Apple for coming out with Ipod, and of course Itunes. Itunes.com is the largest online store to download songs. According to their website, they now provide videos also. I also found out from the Stanford's Itunes website, that you can download faculty lectures on Itunes. How cool is that?

But is Itunes being fair to the music artists? According to Downhill Battle, "a non-profit organization working to support participatory culture and build a fairer music industry", Itunes is not giving much to the artists. According to downhill battle, Apple gets 35% for every song and album sold, and the record labels get 65%. So how much do the artist get? Well it depends on their contract with their record labels. In any case, they are not getting paid as Apple and record labels.

Downhill also points out a good point saying that Itunes should be clear and transparent. They should show how much the artist gets from each sale.

But is Itunes fair to the consumers? Apple says that most of their customers buy the full album, which is lesser than what they can get at retail stores. However, you could get even cheaper than what Itunes is offering at various other online sites such as Ebay.com, Amazon.com (considering used Cds), half.com. CD quality is better than the quality Itunes offer. But still Itunes is ahead in its business. I guess people don't care about the quality and also don't care how much artists are getting.

Even Google and Amazon.com is trying to get some share of the online music market. According to Financial Times, both Google, and Amazon are in talks with music companies trying to compete with Itunes. Amazon however is moving faster than Google in this field. Amazon.com even thinking about offering downloads for a full Hollywood movies. Even Wal-Mart is in talks with film studios, so that it could offer movies to be downloaded on portable discs.

So let’s see what will happen in this arena...

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