iTunes Taking Over Japan – Sony’s Response? Mora

I’m not going to say Sonicstage was a complete disaster – when it worked, it shined, and mostly passed muster. There never really was the sense of success however with the music distribution aspect of it and things were no different with Connect. Sony did however recently release Sonicstage 5 with Mora included, which could perhaps level the playing field in the future. However, it has become very clear that iTunes is succeeding, even in Sony’s home country of Japan. iTunes has captured the heart of the consumer with its simplistic interface, intuitive design and wide catalog. It’s a genuinely smooth experience most of the time. Japanese consumers agree, as Ars Technica writes, “Comscore released data yesterday saying that roughly 40 percent of the Japanese online population had accessed an “entertainment music site” in August of this year. Of those users, nearly 25 percent used iTunes, logging the highest penetration of users compared to US, UK, France, and Germany.

Yahoo Music topped the charts when it came to the most popular music “site” in the country, followed by Sony Connected and Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Others on the list included Goo Music, AOL Music, and”

Sony desperately needs to make a music distribution service that can somehow coincide with iTunes. At this rate, with the iPhone/iTouch having access to iTunes and the App Store things are looking very bleak. These iTunes numbers will explode to statistics never seen once those devices have fully saturated the market. There are now methods available on these devices to enjoy access to content in so many ways. Not only do these devices have those prepackaged apps, but can also run Youtube (which has an unbelievable assortment of music, movies and so forth to enjoy on mobile), and programs like FlyCast that offers access to over a thousand internet radio streams in different genres for free. It is like holding the ultimate portable multimedia device in your hand. The PSP is very similar, but too bulky. The only way Sony can beat this is have a similar wide screened device, yet ultra thin and sleek, with access to ALL content via XMB interface, Youtube, 3rd party apps, instant access to the Playstation video store AND Sony’s entire music catalog with unlimited downloads via subscription with Wifi.

Design wise, a product that had a little of the PSP and a little of the XPERIA X1 would fit well with those specs. With PSN access it’d be a hit. Is it really that hard to come up with that?

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