FILL 'ER UP
Well, it's official. Consumers will be able to buy Microsoft's Zune, it's counter-punch to Apple's iPod, on November 14th for around $250 list. The press release from Microsoft details the product's features and add-on accessories.
This first attempt on a MP3 player doesn't seem to offer too much dramatically new vs. the iPod, or any other mainstream MP3 player.
However, this one bit caught my eye:
""A selection of preloaded content including songs, music videos and film shorts are installed on the device’s hard drive to help consumers discover new artists and entertainment."
The release details the music and video bundled into the hard drive. It boils down to 9 music tracks, 12 music videos, and three short video films. None of it seems to be from mainstream acts, at least to this one reader's eye.
But it does highlight that the practice of bundling of sampler applications and content that's so prevalent with new PCs, is coming to non-PC devices.
This time though, the industry has the benefit of hind-sight. It's an opportunity to do things over...to try things not tried before.
Maybe there's an opportunity to create win-win models with both upcoming and mainstream artists/publishers to bundle a lot more content onto music players.
Give mainstream users a different way to get content, be it music or video, onto these gizmos other than via ripping CDs/DVDs and/or downloading from online services.
Perhaps there're are promotional opportunities for a much wider group of artists bundled onto these devices.
It'd be one heck of a way for Microsoft to differentiate it's music player from the get go.
Just a thought.