Space Ramblings

The Unlimited Music Stops at Yahoo

The Yahoo Unlimited Music service debuted with great fanfare and seemed like a surefire killer. Piggybacked on a widely popular site and tied into Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Music, Yahoo Unlimited seemed like a much better bet for capturing some of the market, but the usual DRM problems, companies constantly changing their mind and Microsoft stabbing everyone in the back with their Play for Sure service, while smirking their way into their own failed Urge and Zune projects, helped total Yahoo Unlimited Music. Now Yahoo, faced with a hostile Microsoft takeover, is slashing the fat and Yahoo Music Unlimited is the first to go, as Terry Semmel departs for greener pastures and Yahoo tries to salvage its strong points while jettisoning its weak performers. The reality was that Yahoo Music Unlimited was never too likely to succeed, after all Napster had already proven that people want to own rather than rent music. Google’s own experiments in rentals with Google Video had bombed. While Yahoo is shoving its Music Unlimited users over to Rhapsody, which mysteriously lives, pay to rent music, is just not a workable proposition.

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