Companies and Brands

New Slacker Music Service Takes Aim at Apple, Microsoft, Napster & Others

There is a new service for digital music called SLACKER that is taking aim at many music formats.  They are treading right into the space of Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Zune, Napster (NAPS), Yahoo! (YHOO), Digital Music Group (DMGI), and somewhat even Sirius (SIRI) and XM Satellite (XMSR). 

SLACKER is launching a jukebox software platform to manage your entire music library and they have the Slacker Web Player available with a premium subscription to radio services and on-demand access to your favorite songs.  They also are launching the Slacker Portable Player soon that is a sleek black MP3 player with a large 4 inch screen that will have a price range for storage needs in the $150 to $300 range.  They even deliver content to the portable player via satellite in the Slacker Car Kit.

There is a basic free service that is ad-supported or they have subscriber services for $7.50 per month that allow you to download songs from their radio stations they offer that can be saved to your computer.  Slacker is a VC-backed operation based out of San Diego, CA that has some of the cool buzz because someone will finally be attempting to integrate the PC-Portabke-Satellite package for music.  The major problem is that they are entering a crowded space at what may be too late of a stage against competitors that can literally chew them up. 

There is one more issue here: Its Name….Slacker.  Napster may be a hamstrung name now, and "slacker" the name is even one step down.  If this one doesn’t work out fast it is going to be dubbed "Loser" and that will be that.  We wish them luck, and they are going to need it against these entrenched companies already dominating the sector.

Jon C. Ogg
March 14, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at [email protected]; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.

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