O2, Vodafone scramble on music bandwagon

This week has seen the launch of two new music services from operators: Vodafone Music from Vodafone and My Play from O2.

Vodafone’s music service will have single track downloads at 99p a go, albums for £7.99, has a try before you buy option and is available on 11 handsets. O2 is pitching its offering as ‘artist led’ with the usual load of videos and bumf, with single track downloads also at 99p.

I’ve lost count of the number of music services that operators – and occasionally handset makers – have attempted to foist on their users with limited success. There’s a number of reasons why such services haven’t taken off, not least the fact that Apple bestrides digital music like a colossus, but mainly it seems because the handset operators’ business model seems to be ‘let’s try and do a mobile version of iTunes, but let’s make it not as good’. The prices are higher, the services are limited to a handful of handsets and there’s no features we haven’t seen a million time before.

But then again, I suspect these music efforts are more a nod to keeping the shareholders happy ‘we’re doing music too! Look, just like Apple!’ rather than a real stab at making a must-have service. Back to the drawing board.

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