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New York AG subpoenas music companies

December 28, 2005 at 1:11 pm | | Music | | --Simon

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office is looking in to whether digital music services have engaged in illegal price-fixing.

Apple has not been named in the investigation so far, although it undoubtedly is a focal point — the company runs the most successful commercial digital music download service, the iTunes Music Store. Despite an onslaught of competitors, Apple has maintained primacy, thanks in part to its sales of iPods.

Microsoft, MTV Share Urge to Upend iTunes

December 14, 2005 at 6:55 pm | | Music | | --Simon

It appears that Microsoft and MTV are teaming up to try and topple over itunes:

Eyeing the sweet spot of the digital music market now all but cornered by Apple’s iTunes Music Store, Microsoft said it would partner with Viacom’s MTV Networks to release a new online music service known as Urge.

Urge is slated to launch early in 2006 and will be integrated into upcoming versions of Microsoft’s Media Player. The service is aimed at leveraging MTV’s brands — including VH1 and Country Music Television — and its relationships with record labels and the music industry to give Microsoft an instant leg up in the digital music world.

I’ve seen things happen like this before where one company took hold of a specific market while others tried to catch up. It could go either way, I suppose, but I certainly think itunes has a nice enough head start to give it some edge.

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