CNET: Apple’s Move Could Force Everyone’s Hand

Greg Sandoval at CNET News.com wrote a solid analysis of Apple’s iTunes Plus launch.

“For the record industry, it once again may find itself being herded into a direction of Apple’s choosing. In this situation, the record companies can only benefit,” said Greg Scholl, president and CEO of The Orchard, a New York-based music distribution and marketing company, in the article.

“The only way we’re going to discover the right way to grow the market is by experimenting,” Scholl said. “I think the price Apple is charging is still too high and will probably inhibit (sales). But right now there isn’t enough data to know what the right pricing is or how to market digital music. At least Apple is trying something new.”

The key here is that non-protected tracks can be played on any device, not just iPods. Not many cellphones support the AAC format yet; that’s the kind of music file that Apple sells in the iTunes Store. The Sony Ericsson W810i is one nice example that does.

But since AAC is an open standard, not something that Apple owns, the wireless industry is sure to embrace it on next-generation, music-capable cellphones.

Will music industry dance again to Apple’s tune? [CNET News]