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There are numerous differences between Apple's content ecosystem and Google's. One of the biggest: through iTunes, Apple offers a unified and arguably superior experience. Whatever you're looking for, be it music, apps or books, can be purchased and downloaded in a single place.
This apparently hasn't been lost on Google, which today announced that it's combining Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore into a single entity dubbed Google Play.
Late last year, Google finally jumped into the digital music market by launching its long-awaited Google Music service.
Despite skepticism and criticism, the search giant clearly had high hopes for its music service, which competes with Apple's iTunes and Amazon's MP3 store. Thus far, however, the skeptics and critics appear to be right.
iTunes is perhaps the best friend of countless music fans. It's easy to forget about the days in which you had to purchase an entire CD just to get one song, now thanks to Apple's service, millions of consumers today buy their music à la carte.
That's not to say that Apple and its record label partners don't want consumers to purchase albums.
To that end, Apple has for some time offered a 'Complete My Album' option that allows iTunes users that have purchased an individual track from an album to purchase the entirealbum at a discounted price.
After what seems like years of rumors and speculation, Google finally launched a digital music service yesterday.
Dubbed Google Music, the service can be accessed through a mobile app and the Android Market website. Through deals with EMI, Universal, Sony and a multitude of indie labels, Google says that it's today offering upwards of 8m songs, with millions more coming soon.
It's no surprise that Amazon is launching an app store for Android. The ecommerce giant has come a long way since it started selling books online. Today, Amazon is rapidly evolving into a content company. And mobile apps are already a big part of the digital content business.
But despite Amazon's brand and size, there's no guarantee that it will become a successful player in the mobile app space. Apple is the 800 pound gorilla, and history isn't exactly conclusive when it comes to Amazon versus Apple. While Amazon's Kindle seems to be holding its own with the iPad, its MP3 store has hardly put a dent in the success of iTunes.
Google's Android operating system may be a prominent fixture in the mobile world, but when looking at the app economy within it, Android is having a hard time competing with Apple and iOS.
One big reason: Android Market, Google's online marketplace for Android applications.
Candy and soda might, under certain circumstances, have a negative impact on an individual's health. But most of us would probably find it ridiculous to state that candy and soda threaten the existence of the human race.
The man who invented the web, however, might be accused of making an equivalent argument when it comes to the web's version of candy and soda -- all of those 'closed' services so many of us love, like Facebook and iTunes.
There are many things digital marketers can learn about customer engagement from Apple. How to launch and sustain your own social network is not one of them. Two months after the launch of Ping, Apple’s music social network is failing to resonate with users. (It's dead in the water, if you ask Fast Company).
What can smaller brands take away from the experience?
Apple isn't known for sitting on profitable business ideas. But it appears to be doing just that with iTunes. The company has made no moves to network iTunes or allow users to access their music from multiple locations. And according to a new survey from NPD Group, a third of iTunes users might pay to access their music from the cloud.
What's more? NPD estimates that music in the cloud could be a billion dollar market. In the first year.
Recently, authorities in the United States uncovered a scam in which criminals stole millions of dollars by making small charges to stolen credit cards. The average charge ranged from as little as 25 cents to no more than $9, which explains why 94% of the victims never noticed the charges.
If complaints that surfaced this past weekend are any indication, scammers with a similar model have set their sights on one of the world's most popular service for buying digital content: iTunes/the App Store.
Interested in taking a trip back to the 1960s and 70s? You had better download individual tracks of your favorite Pink Floyd songs quickly.
Thanks to a High Court ruling that gave Pink Floyd a small victory over record label EMI in a battle over millions in royalties, individual tracks of the legendary rock band's music could potentially leave the digital world at some point.
What do Facebook, Gmail and iTunes have in common? By 2015, they might be dominant online payment providers.
At least that's the thinking of Dave McClure, a Silicon Valley startup investor. In a post the other day (caution: heavy profanity), he argued that "in 2015 the default login & payment method(s) on the web will be Facebook Connect, Google Gmail, or Apple iTunes".