Well maybe not an iTunes killer, but a formidably alluring alternative to legal distribution of digital music.
Skype Journal's Phil Wolff suggests how this could be done. First, he suggests that Skype should open publishing to Skypers like iTunes did for podcasting. Phil thinks the logical step would then be to enable Skype users to access Skype's store as a legal distribution mechanism for musical content.
"Skype's inherently social network will enable more sales than iTunes, assuming similar functionality," Phil writes. "After buying a song, I should be able to gift it to a friend for $0.50, play it in a conference call, download automatically to my mp3 player, mix into a podcast (be sure to negotiate that license first), share playlists like mood indicators to specific users, even broadcast what I'm playing now via mood indicator."
Sounds like a great idea, but I have my doubts about the content industry's acceptance of such a delivery mode.
Kind of ironic if this functionality ever comes to pass,because Skype's founders were also involved with the launch of Kazaa- a musical distribution system widely used to trade pirated music files. Of course, that's awhile back now, Skype does have some ringtone deals and Skype is owned by eBay - but the recording industry has long memories.
Ringtones are controllable, but what Phil is suggesting could bring back those bad memories.
The music industry blocking digital innovation out of fear they can't control it. Imagine that.