More on Yahoo!’s Pricing and Use of XSPF

In its desperate rant,
Napster said that Yahoo! would lard the new Yahoo! Unlimited music service
with advertising in order to keep the cost so low.  Both Napster
and Real said that Yahoo! would not be profitable at those prices and predicted that they would eventually have to raise them.

Maybe so, but maybe not.  Mike McGuire, a GartnerG2 analyst and Berkman Center Digital Media Project collaborator, explains
how Yahoo!’s model might be viable without relying on advertising:
“What Yahoo! brings to the branded online music market is obvious: 25
million unique visitors a month to the Yahoo! Music site, according to
Comscore/MediaMetrix’s latest data…. The company is counting on scale
and customer-acquisition costs.
Yahoo!’s huge user base means it has much lower customer acquisition
costs than subscription-service competitors.”  Even so, he
cautions that “Whether the portable version of the subscription service
will remain at
$6.99 a month beyond the beta period is doubtful, especially given the
cost of maintaining a top-flight music service.”

Meanwhile, Yahoo! Music Engine’s plug-ins feature is already having some interesting consequences – check out this plug-ins page via Brad Hill
Brad writes, “It’s nearly unbelievable. A major media company releasing
an open-platform product in a high-stakes indsutry, developed
by a team that seems to be operating with an eye-popping degree of
autonomy and personality.”

A key component of this open platform is Yahoo!’s reliance on the XSPF playlist format   Want a sense of what an open platform for playlist sharing can help bring?  See the MusicBlogs Publisher PlugIn for the Yahoo! Music Engine, that brings RSS and XSPF together.  Webjay also uses XSPF.  This is just the beginning.