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Sprint Launches Ultra-Pricey Music Service
November 1, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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Sprint announced yesterday the introduction of their new music service, powered by Groove Mobile. On the surface the idea appears intriguing. The customer simply finds the song he or she wants out of a catalog of about 250,000, and the song transfers over Sprint's high-speed mobile network in about 30 seconds. The price per download? $2.50...

While many scoff at the idea of paying $2.50 for a single DRM-laden track, the move actually has some intelligence. Read the following quote from Sprint's press release.

"Sprint is the first carrier in the United States to deliver what customers want most in a wireless music store – the instant gratification of downloading and owning their own personal collection of high-quality songs on a device that is always with them," said Len Lauer, chief operating officer for Sprint Nextel.

The two words that stick out are "instant gratification." Sprint is
betting that people will ignore the high price and cave into their impetuousness. One may question, “Why pay $2.50 per download when iTunes' price is only $0.99?”

iTunes does have a mobile phone music service, partnered with Motorola. Dubbed the Motorola iTunes ROKR, the device is basically a mobile phone that holds a maximum of 100 iTunes songs. But the iTunes/Motorola mobile service lacks one important attribute: instant gratification. The individual must download the song to the PC, and then upload the file into the iTunes phone. Seemingly cumbersome, the iTunes ROKR has been labeled a flop by industry analysts.

"We got off to a little bit of a rough start," Zander said in an interview after Motorola…"People were looking for an iPod and that's not what it is. We may have missed the marketing message there."

Motorola and iTunes appear to have missed the boat, as people were looking for an apple and instead ended up with an orange. The confusing message may end up costing iTunes' their advantage in this market.

While pricey, Sprint's service is clear, concise and to the point. The service is available on their "Sprint Power Vision Phone MM-9000 by SANYO" and the "Sprint Power Vision Phone MM-A940" multimedia phones that are also MP3/digital music players (and have up to 1 gigabyte capacity.) If the individual is willing to shell out over $200.00 for a mobile command station, it's likely they'll shell out another $2.50 for a song.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Authorized Music Store :: Other

You can read the press release here.

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