Monday, April 6, 2009

Verizon to launch music store

Verizon Wireless will launch its App and Music mobile download site on April 7. This move puts the wireless giant in direct competition with Apple's iTunes store, with music available for download at $0.69, $0.99 and $1.29.

Most app stores are geared to users of sophisticated smartphones, like the BlackBerry. But Verizon sees ample growth opportunities with selling mobile programs to non-smartphones (stupid phones?), and it has opened their app store for these devices. In actuality, this really is more of a re-launch of their application store. For years, Verizon Wireless has offered the "Get it Now" service, which had applications for many different types of phones, non-smartphones included. Overall, "Get it Now" was relatively trouble-free and, I'm sure, provided a more-than-acceptable revenue stream for the company.

However, by offering full songs (as opposed to just ringtones), Verizon is, I believe, attempting to prevent more defections to the iPhone ... and more importantly to AT&T - the only carrier for which the iPhone is approved. This also signals to all concerned that a deal that would make iPhones available on the Verizon network is highly unlikely. Which is too bad.

More information at InformationWeek: Verizon unveils Music, App Stores
Verizon Communications Inc.: VZ (NYSE)

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