Monday, November 08, 2004

MUSIC FISHING AT TESCOS: Since they're already a kind of bank, an ISP and a mobile phone network, the entry of Tescos into the music download market isn't that unexpected. They're using Windows Media format, so if that isn't enough to make you lose interest, they're offering half a million tracks and - this is the non-Tesco bit - they've got no price advantage at all, matching iTunes 79p a hit.

Tesco said it expected demand to pick up as the price of digital music players, or MP3 players, dropped.

"As the price of portable digital players falls, customers will demand more choice," said Ms Gery.

"That is what we are delivering."

Oh, really? By offering the downloads in the same locked-up format as most of your rivals at the same price as your biggest competitor? How is that extending choice, exactly? The same thing in a different packet isn't a different choice at all.

The shopping chain said it chose to use Microsoft's Media Player as it is compatible with, and can be loaded onto, a large proportion of portable players on the market, apart from Apple's iPod.

A bit of a fib, surely? Wouldn't the reason they're using wma rather than aac be because Apple won't share? And if tesco really were interested in offering a format which can be loaded onto the most players, surely they'd be using the near-universal MP3 format?