Friday, March 10, 2006

Music on phones needs fine-tuning

The New York Daily News writes about the efforts by network operators and handset manufacturers to bring music to cell phones and take on Apple's iPod.

Linda Barrabee at Yankee Group said, "The iPod has really set the bar quite high as far as what consumers expect from the digital music experience." She commented that "the new crop of music phones needs to improve on areas such as the ability to transfer music easily between PCs and phones, music selection and pricing."

So far the carriers, such as Sprint, have been trying to push the over the air convenience factor. However, charging $2.50 a song might be pushing things too far. Avi Greengart at Current Analysis, called Sprint songs "ludicrously overpriced" in light of the 99-cent standard established by iTunes and other digital music stores.

Sprint, as well as Verizon's V Cast Music, require subscribers to also pay for data access, which makes the cost for music even higher.

Seamus McAteer at M:Metrics said, "It's still several years before carriers come close to emulating the success Apple has had in digital music."

Right now cost, ease of use and PC integration are key factors why the OTA market isn't taking off. And don't get me started on why Japan is not a great example for forecasting U.S, market potential...