MTV: Another Futile Run At Apple

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MTV, a division of Viacom (VIA) is teaming up with RealNetworks (RNWK), the music distribution company, to compete with the Apple (AAPL) iTunes product. The new offering will have the MTV marketing muscle and distribution through the Verizon Wireless and Vodafone (VOD), the leader wireless carrier in Europe.

The competition against AAPL has all the hallmarks of a success. MTV is substantial global music brand. It is trying to diversify revenue off of its traditional cable TV platform. VOD and Verizon Wireless have about 150 million wireless subscribers between them.

But, the problem with these consortia is that they are made up of members with competing needs and interests. They are, by nature, operated by committee. And, this one is trying to catch a market leader which has the lion’s share of the music download business, over 120 million iPods, and the new iPhone.

A committee cannot compete with APPL.

Douglas A. McIntyre