Yahoo destroys the RIAA, iTunes, Napster

All I can say is, thank you Yahoo. Your new $5/month Music Unlimited subscription service will be the end of the RIAA, as Mark Cuban reports:

The RIAA can no longer claim that students who are downloading music are costing them thousands of dollars each. They cant claim much of anything actually. In essence, Yahoo just turned possession of a controlled music substance into a misdemeanor. Payable by a $5 per month fine.

The Music Unlimited site looks nice, but sports this little warning on the right side:

If you’re an iPod user with a Windows-based PC, you can transfer music you already own to an Apple iPod using the Yahoo! Music Engine. Unfortunately, iPods are not currently compatible with the Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscription service.

Maybe the beginning of the end for iTunes too, though speculation of an iTunes subscription service has become more common lately. Even Hilary Rosen, yes the former head of the RIAA, who blogs at Huffington Post is calling for Apple to open up the iPod. With music that cheap available from Yahoo using Microsoft’s technology, it doesn’t look so good for Apple.

Yes, it’s interesting to note (or not) that Yahoo is using Microsoft’s DRM technology. Russell Beattie at Yahoo expressed concern about that, but Scoble replied “we only win if you do.” So true! Yahoo, Napster, and basically everyone except iTunes is using the Microsoft technology. I don’t see how iTunes and iPod can remain on top.

Speaking of Napster, things are not looking so good for them following the launch of Yahoo’s new service either, as techdirt explains:

Napster made a big deal earlier this year in advertising how much “cheaper” they were than Apple (though, many questioned the math). Of course, when you pitch yourself as the “low cost” alternative, you have to have a plan in place for the time when (not if) someone else comes in with lower prices. It appears that Napster’s plan is not to plan at all.

Pretty amazing if you ask me. With the launch of a single service, Yahoo has caused problems for three major players in the music space. And made things look very promising for Microsoft indeed.

Read: Yahoo! Music Unlimited

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