Sony, Warner Music execs plan to conquer iPod lead | iLounge News


Sony, Warner Music execs plan to conquer iPod lead

At this week’s UBS Media Week Conference in New York, two executives took aim at Apple’s iPod. Andrew House, VP of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said he plans to first get the company’s Playstation Portable (PSP) in the hands of consumers as a gaming device and then use it to sell music and video downloads. The device uses a proprietary Sony storage disc format that can store about 2GB worth of content. “In the portable space, there are devices that are a necessity, like a cell phone, and there are devices that are indulgences,” House said. “The iPod fits very much into the indulgence and status category and that is where we are going to go head-to-head with PSP.”

Meanwhile, Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman said in a separate presentation at the conference that he sees a large opportunity to sell the label’s music on mobile phones, which he expects will hold as much as 1,000 songs like the iPod mini. “Eventually, the greatest competition [for the iPod] comes from the wireless network providers,” Bronfman said. “If my cell phone—or one of those 1.3 billion cell phone users as opposed to the five million iPod users—can give me the same kind of functionality as the iPod, that’s the biggest competition.”

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A PSP isn’t QUITE as portable as an iPod ;)

And he calls the PSP a “necessity” while the iPod’s an “indulgence?”

As for phones… remember Apple’s already announced their deal with Motorola and iTunes.

Posted by Nagromme on December 7, 2004 at 4:05 PM (CST)


Competition is a good thing in the market place….... in the end, we consumers are better off. Hopefully Apple’s success with the iPod will drive other companies, and Apple, to give us the true next generation in portable music.

Posted by miketex on December 7, 2004 at 4:08 PM (CST)


Or maybe he means PSP is ALSO an indulgence, but a better one?

Posted by Nagromme on December 7, 2004 at 4:08 PM (CST)


Apple’s already announced their deal with Motorola and iTunes.

As announced so far, the Apple-Moto deal seems to encompass simply enabling Moto phones to play FairP;lay AACs as ring tunes or songs.

The real threat to the iPod is from the hard-drive enabled phones that will store 5-10GB.

Very few people will have 5-10GB of purchased AACs, but many will easily have 5-10Gb of mp3s.

I do not think that being able to play Apple-licensed AACs is a primary driver for a portable device. Being a high-capacity mp3 player, however, is key.

How popular do you think the iPod would be if it could only play its own licensed AAC files? Answer: about as popular as Sony’s first “iPod Killer”. People buy iPods primarily to play back mp3s, not FairPlay AACs.

If the Apple-Moto deal goes beyond simply enabling Moto phone to play back AAC files but instead is a Trea-style iPod-phone integration then I expect it will be a success. And necessary for Apple to continue to grow market share. Otherwise it’s just not relevant for most people.

Posted by Demosthenes on December 7, 2004 at 4:18 PM (CST)


A brief editorial aside: by year’s end, Sony will have released five different devices that are supposed to go up against the iPod. Five. Not one, or two, five. Can you name them? Does anyone care?

You can measure Sony’s slide with every additional announcement that mentions the iPod in the same sentence as one of its products. When the company believes that its supposedly innovative products can’t get attention on their own merits, the leader-follower relationship is cemented in both sides’ minds. And everyone else’s.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on December 7, 2004 at 5:21 PM (CST)


I agree with Jeremy.  Sony has done a lot of things well, and over the years I have bought a lot of their products.  When I look back, they were the ‘benchmark’ for audio products.  They enjoyed the same success with their ‘Walkman’ line as Apple is currently enjoying with the iPod line.  Sony has made the mistake over and over of trying to force their proprietary formats, be it the memory stick, or their audio codecs, to the masses. I think the Sony DAP effort is going to go the way of the betamax.

Posted by wowzer on December 7, 2004 at 5:29 PM (CST)


Sony is the Annie Leibovitz of consumer electronics. Make enough of them, and make enough for each category, and you are bound to get a few good shots in. Sony is not foundationally set up to take over ANYBODY. They do well with video. That’s what they own. Though they can’t make DVD players to save their lives. Their audio is mid-end at best. Their interfaces are no better than anyone else’s in the field. And they want to be my latex salesman?! Forget it. Their doing what they all do: getting the shareholders, those people that don’t even own Sony products, all fevered up. Next.

Posted by Jeff Halmos on December 7, 2004 at 6:24 PM (CST)


Check it out:

its an ad about a cough candy with 11 herbs from a swiss company. always the same story, different players. Some dude goes: “hey check it out, we got the best thing in the world, 10 years of testing and inventing, then this little dude pops out of something and “nicley, in the swiss way” asks: who invented it? huh? who was it? huh? and keeps asking till they admit it.

Why compare? Its just marketing, and its working. They are in a different game now! Sonystyle was real good, woulda worked, but they missed inventing something like the “walkman” again. They couldn’t think of it cause they’d already invented one :-)

Posted by marcbenjamin on December 7, 2004 at 6:52 PM (CST)


Who are these boneheads that think they can simply take over the iPod’s market? As an iPod owner I would not want to replace it with a PSP or any mobile phone. Battery life is an issue for some people now; imagine how much worse battery life will be when mobile phones have to power music playback too.

As for the PSP, SONY is making the same mistakes that Atari and SEGA did when they tried to compete with Nintendo’s original GameBoy. The brute-force approach, (ie. bigger screen, better graphics, bigger capacity media, etc) will not de-throne Nintendo or Apple from their dominant positions. The PSP is bulky and will need too much recharging compared to either the iPod or the Nintendo DS. It also offers no backwards compatibility with anything so music and movies will have to be re-purchased to be played back on this latest “iPod-killer”.

Posted by Sol on December 7, 2004 at 7:39 PM (CST)


YYEEHHH FUCK EM UP REAL GOOD IPOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    SONY BLOWS!!!!!!! IPOD FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jables on December 7, 2004 at 8:51 PM (CST)


...President? after only 6 million votes(sales),I think Sony is in the position for President after 150million walkman votes,don’t you?...Apple has been EXTREMELY fortunate,lets not get too cocky..

Posted by Joao on December 7, 2004 at 9:55 PM (CST)


First of all, of course, BEFORE the product comes out - the product manager/VP is going to rave about how it’ll become the next iPod - you have plenty of time to blame others later. Nokia predicted they would sell 6 MILLION N-Gage’s. I would be surprised if they’ve sold more than 500,000 worldwide.

I’m not saying the ipod is invincible forever but clearly these guys are not going to supply the missing pieces. While PSP will undoubtedly be a big hit and while it can play music, people who want a music player are NOT going to buy it as music player. First, it’ll be the size of a PDA while the ipod will only get smaller or become such a huge storage device - the 2 GB of storage sounds large but that will also included saved game settings, saved games, etc ... what’s a gamer’s first priority? To save the game and sure if there’s room, download and store some music but since most games contain a lot of music already - why would they bother buying the same songs they’ve already listened hundreds of times everything they turn on their game? Or for gamers, are you really going to wind down the battery to listen to music all the time on it? AND it better have a world-calss download-upload-store interface hardware-software sync like ipod/itunes - otherwise, who is bother loading more than a couple dozen songs?

If your priority is music, are you really going to buy a device that’s 95% designed for playing games? And while the cache/internal RAM is geared towards loading game code - how effecient will it for music playback? Can you fast forward/back up, switch playlists in milliseconds like the ipod? Or even startup - the Nintendo DS still takes 20-30 seconds to boot up & load a game - how long does it take the ipod to be ready to play music?

Again, I’m not saying the PSP is not going to sell a lot and yes, people will load music on it but it will not be a huge priority and it’s not enough to topple the ipod - no one is going to switch from a device that can play back 4-60 GB of music for something that holds less than 2 GB minus gaming files on a disc with a plyback speed/cache that we have no clue on.

As for the cell phone companies - they cannot even print out a monthly bill that’s not full of gibberish - they are pretty much the last people to keep track of 1 million tracks of music - they’re having enough trouble keeping track of 40 ringtones on their website.


Posted by jbelkin on December 7, 2004 at 11:43 PM (CST)


The PSP is physically much larger than a PDA.

And re: cell phones, Bronfman doesn’t have a clue. Besides the fact that almost no one yet owns the devices he plans to sell music for (ones with legitimate music storage capacity), he’ll need to explain exactly why someone would want to deplete the very modest battery of a cellular phone (for many, a necessity) to listen to hours worth of music (a recreational activity). Unless battery life improves radically on wireless telephony products, or people are willing to accept significantly larger ones with commensurately larger batteries, this is an absolute non-starter.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on December 8, 2004 at 12:42 AM (CST)


Its about the music stupid! and thats why the ipod rules . Lets not forget that.

Posted by bm on December 8, 2004 at 1:39 AM (CST)

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