Can Sony Finally Succeed with Online Music?

sonypsp.jpgIt’s easy to take potshots at all of the various Apple iTunes Store competitors out there, such as Yahoo, Rhapsody, Napster, the now-defunct Urge, and the so-far-unimpressive Microsoft Zune Store. Various reports indicate that they’re fighting for about 25 percent of the market, give or take a few points, while Apple scoops up the rest.

Perhaps no one feels this pain more than Sony, who essentially handed its fabled Walkman market to Apple in a long series of company and product missteps.

But CNET News sees an opening: “To Sony, the weak spot in Apple’s iTunes fortress could be in video downloads.”

CNET is referring to the story early in the week that Sony is preparing to launch a challenge to iTunes’ video service. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sony’s effort would employ the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation Portable and Bravia high-definition televisions to offer some kind of download service.

There’s plenty that has to happen before Sony could succeed. But as the CNET Newsarticle points out, “although Sony’s execution in recent years may have been abysmal, it does have many of the tools to launch an offensive against Apple” — chief among them the aforementioned gadgets, they own Sony Pictures, and Apple’s recent problems getting NBC and Universal to resign their iTunes Store contracts.

There’s also the fact that they’ve already launched several failed music download initiatives. Maybe this time’s the charm.

Does Sony finally have an iTunes answer [CNET News]