It's easy to get lost in the world of digital media, but Yahoo!
After a recent expansion, Yahoo! announced that its search engine index now covers more than 20 billion "objects." So is Google out of the water? Not hardly. Up until a year ago, Yahoo! had been licensing Google's search results, which definitely helped in Google's mission to become the information search leader. Even now, other websites, including newspapers as well as corporations, use Google as their search index. According to comScore Networks, Google had a 36.9% share of the U.S. search engine market at the end of June, with Yahoo! a close second at 30.4%. But Yahoo!'s looking to drive the stake even deeper with its new Yahoo! Audio search function and Music Unlimited jukebox.
The company has stated its intent to become "a major player in digital music." Well, it certainly took long enough, almost one year after announcing plans to acquire digital music software maker Musicmatch. But once Yahoo! got going, it steamed ahead. Along with its Audio search, where users can store their searches on Yahoo!'s My Web 2.0 using RSS feeds, the company today made widely available its Music Unlimited (non-beta) application. For $4.99 a month (on an annual subscription basis), you too can download more than a million songs. This fee is almost half the price of similar services offered by Napster
Although Yahoo! is fulfilling its promise to get into digital music, I can't help but wonder whether Apple
The company continues to make strides as it adds popular functionality to its traditional search engine. Yahoo! seems to have several tricks up its sleeve, but the question is, will they be enough? Branching out into niche markets seems a good way to pull even with the Google domination and keep this search engine chugging. But can someone please tell this train to find new names for its stations?
Shruti Basavaraj is a Motley Fool financial editor. She gets her groove on to all sorts of music, but owns no shares of any company mentioned above.