Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Nokia Goes Ear-to-Ear with Apple

BusinessWeek writes about Nokia's (NOK) acquisition of Loudeye/OD2 for $60 million and the company's attempt to take on Apple (AAPL) in the digital music market. Lewis Ward at IDC said, "it's Nokia's response to itunes."

Albert Lin at American Technology Research said, "Nokia already sells as many music phones as Apple sells iPods. And the market for music phones will be larger than the market for stand-alone music players. The bulk of music-playing devices sold is likely to be the cell phones."

According to the article, "Loudeye has a catalogue of 1.6 million tracks and has more content rights to local music globally than any other music distributor in the world—including iTunes. Murray Arenson at Ferris, Baker, Watts said, "No one is close to that."

Jari Honko at eQBank added, "In digital music, it's all about intellectual property rights. Nokia has greater power than smaller companies to protect [them]."

P.J. McNealy at American Technology Research pointed out that "the Loudeye brand is virtually unknown when compared with that of Apple's hugely popular iTunes service. This gives carriers the chance to market their own brand instead."

On the subject of Nokia possibly offering its own music service, Andrew Cole at TNMG-Adventis said, "the carriers could react extraordinarily negativel. They could lose revenues because of this."