Monday, September 19, 2005

More on Sprint and RealNetworks

More quotes from the pundits regarding Sprint's deal with RealNetworks to offer the Rhapsody radio service to wireless customers. At the The Seattle Times, Roger Entner at Ovum said, "The iTunes announcement was a big wake-up call for the industry. A few other people have come up with the same idea; it's the first wave of it."

Due to the on-board memory constraints of most current handsets, Entner thinks streaming radio will be more popular. "If you do downloads, you need a sizable memory card on the handset. If you have an older handset, this [radio] service is immediately available to anybody," he added.

This theme was carried over in a Reuters article where Entner was quoted saying a Sprint/Rhapsody service was "a good first step. The important difference is that, unlike the ROKR, you do not need to sync your telephone to a PC to get your music. It's there on your phone and it's convenient."

In the San Jose Mercury News, Charles Golvin at Forrester Research said, "Music is a very, very important category for mobile and will continue to grow. Since a phone is something that people more and more just have with them all the time, the idea that you could put a little bit of music in there as you go out and about for the day -- I think that's a viable model."

Lastly, in Top Tech News Yankee Group analyst Michael Goodman said, "This is different than a download service like that offered by Cingular and Apple's iTunes in that there is no digital audio player involved."

IDC's Dave Linsalata remarked, "All of the carriers and content providers are trying to get music on phones. This is significant in that it increases the awareness of using mobile phones as music players."

Goodman added, "And for Real, this is a good way to drive subscription revenues."