Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More on Sprint Music Service

The negativity towards Sprint's new music download service is starting to manifest itself. In CIO, JupiterResearch analyst Julie Ask pointed out that although Sprint's new service will be "a good demonstration of Sprint’s Power Vision network capabilities," few consumers will change carriers to take advantage of such offerings, citing surveys that found only "1 percent said they picked their vendor because of its entertainment offerings."

"At the end of the day, it’s still all about price and network quality," Ask said.

Regarding Sprint’s $2.50 price tag for full track downloads to both handsets and PCs, Ask was more enthusiastic thinking it might do decent business from impulse buyers. She said, "Sprint is being realistic. They’re acknowledging that this is an addition to the other ways [customers] buy music."

Over at the Kansas City Star, Roger Entner at Ovum got straight to the point. he said, “Consumers expect 99 cents. At $2.50 it makes it very difficult.”

“Sprint has been the traditional leader in wireless data in the United States. Verizon for a while has outshined them with the V Cast service. This is Sprint’s attempt to regain the limelight,” Entner added.

The harshest words were over at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Michael Goodman at Yankee Group said, "It's ludicrous. Why would I pay a 250 percent mark-up for something I can get for 99 cents?"

Roger Entner at Ovum repeated his "People are expecting 99 cents. Two dollars and fifty cents gives you instant sticker shock." While Tole Hart at Gartner said, "My instant reaction is $2.50 is too pricey."

I have to commend Sprint for taking the plunge and offering the OTA full-track download service. I give them even bigger props for their aggressive pricing plans for EV-DO service. However, they had to expect a lot of backlash regarding the $2.50 a song pricing. Can't wait to see the numbers from the first quarter of service and how they spin it...