Aussie music download stores "failed miserably": analyst

Summary:Major Australian online music stores have "failed miserably" in selling music to the public, according to music analyst Phil Tripp.Tripp said Telstra's BigPond, ninemsn and Destra have not succeeded in attracting Australian music fans to buying licensed music online because of a lack of marketing.

Major Australian online music stores have "failed miserably" in selling music to the public, according to music analyst Phil Tripp.

Tripp said Telstra's BigPond, ninemsn and Destra have not succeeded in attracting Australian music fans to buying licensed music online because of a lack of marketing.

"They are not marketing it to the public. There are no advertisements you can see on music downloading. They do not make it a pleasurable experience for users. Most people who try it once won't try it again," Tripp said.

He added that the music that can be downloaded is limited to PC users, which alienates the growing iPod population in Australia.

"It is limited to PC users only. Seventy percent of the digital music players sold are iPods. They are not able to buy music, and so at the meantime the users are ripping their entire CD collections. But the final nail in the coffin is that in most cases, [online music stores] don't even have 30,000 songs to choose from. They have a crap choice and a crap system, so why wouldn't the consumers stay away?" Tripp said.

Tripp said in an editorial entitled "Loose Cannon" on the Web site themusic.com.au, "On the subject of downloading, what didn't happen this year was the sort of blue sky results that were projected by the three major download retailers-BigPond, ninemsn and Destra. The WMA way of downloading, PC only, with no real marketing, a poor selection of music, not enough of a compelling reason to try and buy plus everyone buying that incompatible iPod made the dawn of downloading a travesty at best".

Tripp believes that Australians will only get to experience how "seamless" legal music downloading is once Apple iTunes enters the Australian market.

"Once Apple comes in, people will see how seamless it can be. Unfortunately, Australians can't see it unless they get their hands on it," Tripp said.

"The fact that Apple did not enter the market with iTunes Music Store didn't help matters either but that remains to be seen and heard when they finally do here," Tripp said in his editorial.

Tripp also gave his opinion on the still-to-be-concluded civil trial in Sydney against peer to peer software provider Sharman Networks for alleged copyright infringing behaviour. He said that in the end, it will be "a matter of law, not justice".

"It is interesting that the local industry and its army of lawyers have gotten so far so quickly. In the end I believe that it's a matter of law, not justice. I don't think it will be on the industry's favour. Because the copyright act in Australia is so outdated, it really makes it a 505-50 chance," Tripp said.

Topics: Telcos, Broadband, Browser, Legal, Piracy, Telstra

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