Forever, it seems, Apple’s iTunes has served as the front-runner in the digital music arena. Indeed, for many, the firm are majorly responsible for de-criminalising the notion of “music online”, using their marketing muscle to transform it into one of the most integral aspects of the modern music industry.
It’s only natural, then, that company after company would arise, positing an “iTunes-killer”. Yet, one gaze across the digital wasteland reveals gravestones for each one. And while some have escaped such fate (see: Amazon), Apple remain perched atop of the pack.
Not for much longer, if Google have their way.
Full story after jump…
Not content with essentially owning the internet at large, the big G threw their hat into the online music arena last month with the launch of Google Music.
Hailed for comprising the best of iTunes and Spotify, the service serves as both an online streaming tool as well as a music store. Users can also store up to 20,000 songs on a cloud-like service, which automatically makes their music available on their desktop and Android devices.
Sounds great, but somewhat expected, right?
Well, in an unprecedented move, the muti-national are taking advantage of Soundscan’s latest regulations, which establish that songs sold for less than $0.39 will not count towards the Billboard tally (with the album threshold being $3.49).
As such, the firm announced new pricing which sees over 10 million songs made available at $0.49 and over half a million albums sold for $4.99. (Sony Music artists, however, will see their songs remain at a traditional price point of $1.29)
Blockbuster on many a front, the price slash sees Google make a direct beeline for Apple’s market share by selling the same songs and albums for half the price; all the while remaining credible in that purchases from its store will still count towards the charts.
And to think we assumed it was just the artists and labels getting their claws out. Interesting times certainly lay ahead.