Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Urge to merge

It seems like just minutes since we were detailing the last iPod/iTunes killer service, and yet here we are with another one. Or, rather, three failed services hoping to pool their - uh - expertise to beat the heck out of iTunes and iPod. Unless it's already been defeated by GBox, in which case, they'll take on that and Zune.

The three partners are MTV and Real, who are merging MTV's unloved Urge and Real's solid-but-sidelined Rhapsody in a deal Verizon Wireless. VW is co-owned by Vodaphone, whose expensive Vodaphone Live content delivery flopped like a sky-diving whale back before we even knew there was an iPod to kill.

The hope is that heavy promotion by MTV will drive take-up, but why MTV's muscle should be able to drive sales to this new venture when it couldn't persuade people to feel the Urge isn't clear. Although since MTV doesn't actually carry much music, it's probably not the best platform to try and connect with music lovers on. If they were selling drawings of dwarves setting fire to themselves, they'd be counting the bucks.

Meanwhile, UK mobile phone companies will be casting a nervous eye at the FT's reports of a deal to bring the iPhone to Europe. In the UK, it's definitely going to be on the O2 network.