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Where iTunes lead, rivals will follow

Big hitters looking into copycat music download services

The digital music download industry appears likely to become an incredibly competitive space, according to an article published in the LA Times.

The story claims Apple's success in the market has inspired competitors, such as Microsoft, AOL Time Warner and Yahoo to look into launching their own competing services.

All three are expected to come up with rival sites according to the LA Times. Other operators, including Amazon and MTV Networks are also moving to leverage their online brands.

Apple's launch of the iTunes Music Store six weeks ago marked a change in the music industry's attitude to digital distribution. While the business continues to battle against illegal music download services, it now accepts the need to find technology companies with established brand names to bring their products to market.

A source said: "We have the rights. We have the music. We need the real experts to come and make a distribution system that works."

Discussing the rapid rollout of these services, Vivendi Universal
chairman Doug Morris said "I think the whole thing is a revolution."

David Goldberg, vice president and general manager of music for Yahoo, told the LA Times "Apple's service shows there's consumer demand, and it shows they've built a great product."

The story cites sources who suggest new, competing music download services will be available by Christmas.


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