Logic disconnect? Well, there have been ample situations in which Sony
You'd be forgiven if you're wondering what the heck Sony Connect is. It's a digital media service that has been around since 2004 and was Sony's answer to Apple's
Connect utilized Sony's proprietary ATRAC format, which has certainly seemed like a quaint idea in a digital world that's dominated by iTunes; this definitely hobbled the company's chances to compete with that juggernaut.
After all, iTunes has been a roaring success. Despite the fact that it's a digital-only music store, it's now one of the top five music retailers overall, clocking in at No. 3 -- behind Wal-Mart
Sony's stubborn tenacity on its ATRAC format meant consumers were trapped using only Sony hardware and software to listen to their music, and it's easy to see the ramifications of that, given iPod's success. Sony now says that it will support other, more open formats, like MP3, Microsoft's
Opening up and ditching Connect makes a lot of sense for Sony, given the realities of the marketplace. It's not even all about iTunes now, since many companies are launching or rethinking their music services. Wal-Mart recently started offering some DRM-free tracks in its online music store, and while there may be some question how successful it will be, it's a formidable contender. Meanwhile, rumors are flying today that Amazon will debut its own digital music store by Sept. 17. Yahoo!
Sony's walls around its music products backfired, since it appears they kept consumers out more than they roped them in. Cutting a service that doesn't connect with current trends is a good move for a company that could often be accused of forgetting its customers, given its sometimes heavy-handed ways. (Rootkits, anyone?) This may not be a turning point in some of the company's strategic policies, but it's a step in the right direction.
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