In case you haven’t heard, tomorrow brings the launch of the iPhone, the all-in-one gadget that is allegedly going to change lives, and definitely going to change some people’s sleep patterns. But an AP piece is speculating that the iPhone’s effect on the music industry will be slim because users won’t be able to purchase music on the fly:
Instead, iPhone owners will have to buy music via their computers and then download it to their phones, a process called side-loading.
…The arrival of the iPhone on Friday has stoked optimism among some music company executives that it will usher in a new wave of easier-to-use mobile music devices or even entice more people into embracing the phone as music player _ and into buying more music.
“The introduction of the iPhone is an enormously positive event,” said Warner Music Group Corp. CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. at a conference earlier this month in New York. “It creates more and more consumers who are looking to buy music, but it also galvanizes the mobile industry to compete.”
Some analysts, however, say mobile music sales will be dampened as long as users are limited to loading music on their phones via their PCs and Macintosh computers, and blocked from buying music wirelessly.
“The whole idea of on-the-go instant gratification isn’t there,” said Ted Cohen, managing partner of media consulting firm Tag Strategic.
In the past, that “on-the-go” gratification has come at a steeper price than sideloaded tracks; however, both Verizon and Sprint have recently cut prices for over-the-air downloads, and Sprint’s music files, which were originally a whopping $2.50/track, are now priced at iTunes’ 99 cents/song mark. Still, from what we’ve read, the iPhone setup for transferring music to computers isn’t all that different from the way users get music onto their iPods–a familiarity that, at the very least, will get people interested in using the phone’s music capabilities. And while we aren’t gadget experts by any stretch of the imagination, we suspect that the iPhone’s Wi-Fi compatibility will ultimately pave the way for it being compatible with the iTunes store, at the very least.
iPhone May Not Rock Music Industry [AP via Washington Post]