Monday, September 08, 2008

Zune Delivering Real Competition in Portable Media Player Market

The new features in the Zune 3.0 release are adding to user options to discover music in new ways. Microsoft Zune research has shown that radio is still being used by the majority of potential users to discover new music. Most people like to have help in discovering new music. The buy from FM feature rated very high in the research and would drive device and service adoption.

The perception that radio is dead is misguided and has been for years now. Many bloggers and major media back in 2004 said, that radio was dead with the invention of Podcasting and that has NOT at all happened. The same is true for music discovery from broadcast radio.

Broadcast radio is still very important (huge audience) and will continue to be so for a very long-time. These new options don’t stop users from using the Zune players as just a digital music player, Zune just takes it to an new level. If the portable media player market is going to grow then there needs to be more ways new potential users can get into the digital music game.

Many may not realize it, but still as of today the majority of people in the USA do not currently own a digital portable media player and these new Zune features are a way of pulling this huge existing radio listening market into the digital music/portable media player market. The other reason to be positive about the Zune features in 3.0 is that it is always good to have competition in this kind of market.

I just don’t see why many bloggers and major media have to keep slamming Zune, even as it continues to innovate in this evolving space. It is still very early days for digital media and portable consumption of that media. Zune does not have to follow Apple to succeed, as I believe that Zune is quickly moving into the leadership position around innovation in social networking digital media discovery, wireless sharing, sync and radio to digital e-commerce.

Rob Greenlee

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