Ars Technica has the scoop on a “new” study which shows how Apple’s iTunes is “widening its lead in the digital music market at the expense of other top brands.” The name of the article, in fact, is Competition unable to take a big bite out of Apple’s iTunes. The article could be interesting, what with its data, charts, and supposed analysis. But it has one major problem that invalidates most everything said:
The study relies on data from the first half of 2007. Amazon MP3 didn’t exist way back then, and Ars Technica completely ignores the fact that it exists now. Here are some current quotes (all from the past week) that shed some new light on just how “unable” the competition is because of the “widening” iTunes market share:
“Yes, dear readers, if I had an Apple tattoo, the ink would bleed out of my skin in disgust. I use iTunes to browse, sample, and choose music I want to purchase . . . and then I tab over to my Web browser and I buy it DRM-free from Amazon MP3.”
“Amazon’s MP3 store – which sells only songs without copy protection – has quietly become No. 2 in digital sales since opening nearly six months ago, say the four major labels. That’s even though Apple dominates digital music with its iTunes Store…”
“I also have to say that Amazon’s download service is smooth as silk. And, unlike iTunes, it saves the files as .mp3s rather than a proprietary iTunes file format. That means that any .mp3 player can use them. With iTunes, you have to burn a CD first, then rip that CD into .mp3s using other software. Amazon therefore works a lot better for me.”
My own stance hasn’t changed much since Amazon released its MP3 download service. Like the title of my original review said, Amazon MP3 gets it right: cheaper, DRM-free, higher quality, and no switching costs.