Zune Thoughts

Zune Thoughts.com

Thanks for visiting Zune Thoughts - be sure to register in our forums!


Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

Windows Phone Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...




Go Back   Thoughts Media Forums > ZUNE THOUGHTS > Zune Talk

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-21-2007, 06:36 PM
Jason Dunn
Executive Editor
Jason Dunn's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160
Default MTV Closing URGE, Merging with Rhapsody

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.forbes.com/special_contributors/2007/08/20/mtv-music-urge-tech-cx_pco_0820paidcontent.html' target='_blank'>http://www.forbes.com/special_contributors/2007/08/20/mtv-music-urge-tech-cx_pco_0820paidcontent.html</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;The news was supposed to be announced at a press conference tomorrow at 11 AM in NYC, but WSJ jumped the gun on it (to be fair, no one cared about getting journalists under embargo). MTV Networks is closing its poorly received online music service Urge, and is merging it with RealNetworks Rhapsody music service.&quot;</em><br /><br /><img alt="" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/zt/2007/MTV-URGE-cancelled.jpg" /><br /><br />This is...a bomb. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.forbes.com/special_contributors/2007/08/20/mtv-music-urge-tech-cx_pco_0820paidcontent.html">There are few to no details about this</a>, but on the surface it seems like a very bad thing for Microsoft's Zune marketplace service. Here's why: the Zune Marketplace is based off of URGE. By &quot;based off of&quot;, I mean it's exactly the same thing, only with a different skin and different music promotions. The URGE back-end provides all the music for the Zune Marketplace. Now if this back-end is merged with Rhapsody, what are the odds that Rhapsody will leave it intact enough to be used by the Zune Marketplace?<br /><br />There are many questions here: why didn't Microsoft just buy URGE themselves so they'd have a stable music platform for the Zune? The entire point in Microsoft doing the Zune was to control the experience, end to end, and try to come up with something comparable to the iPod, and certainly better than the chaos that was PlaysForsure with it's myriad of devices and music services. I doubt Microsoft is making much, if anything, off their Zune Marketplace music sales with URGE acting as the middleman between them and the music studios.<br /><br />We have to remember that while Rhapsody eventually was a PlaysForSure music partner, when Microsoft announced that the Zune wasn't PlaysForSure, we saw Rhapsody and Sandisk join together and make a lot of noise about their music+device partnership. It's safe to say that a lot of people in the PlaysForSure industry were a little upset about the Microsoft Zune and what it meant for their businesses.<br /><br />I'd find it hard to believe that Microsoft wasn't aware of this in advance, but you never know - my hope is that they've worked out a deal with Rhapsody to keep the URGE catalog and future releases inside the Zune marketplace, but unless Rhapsody has a strong financial incentive to do so, why would they continue to work with the Zune? I've emailed my Microsoft contact to ask for a response to this story - I'll post a reply when I receive it.
__________________
Want to contact me personally? Use this. Want to read my personal blog? Check it out. Want to follow me on Twitter? Here you go.
 
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-21-2007, 08:31 PM
kevo777
Neophyte
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3

Since when is URGE the back end for Zune Marketplace? Granted, they look very very similar on the surface, but they don't share the same DRM so how can it be the exact same content? I have to respectfully disagree with that statement. I don't think this merger has any impact on the Zune Marketplace. ZM is a ground-zero project with no ties to anything that came before it.
 
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-21-2007, 09:12 PM
priesmeyer
Ponderer
priesmeyer's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 67

You have to admit that the user experience between Urge and Zune Marketplace are eerily similar. I mean, I've been using Urge since it launched (love it!) and when I first launched the ZM I immediately blinked and said "Whoa... this is the same thing."

But it's not. However it's clear that Microsoft clearly leveraged off of the work that was done on Zune.
 
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-21-2007, 09:19 PM
ShahnHogan
Neophyte
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7

If I was to guess I would say Microsoft developed the URGE backend and licensed it to MTV. Zune just happens to use a similar, however, I would guess highly customized version of that same backend. I doubt this has any impact on Zune or the Marketplace.
 
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-21-2007, 09:28 PM
priesmeyer
Ponderer
priesmeyer's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 67

Good points but we're all just speculating on that. They'll probably never admit the chain of events that led to the Urge/Zune separation.

Now we just wait and see what Microsoft says about Urge going away. Frankly, I want the hole filled and note merely paved over like a pothole.
 
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-21-2007, 09:59 PM
USArcher
Ponderer
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 94

Rhapsody is doing a better job building partnerships
- Stream Rhapsody content to Tivo
- Stream Rhapsody content to Sonos
- Deviced built by SanDisk
- Merge Urge music store and gaining MTV marketing

Microsoft is doing something wrong!
 
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-21-2007, 10:01 PM
Jason Dunn
Executive Editor
Jason Dunn's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShahnHogan View Post
If I was to guess I would say Microsoft developed the URGE backend and licensed it to MTV.
Hrm. I always thought it was the reverse - Microsoft licensed the URGE back-end and catalog...the whole thing...for Zune Marketplace. Remember URGE was out, what, at least a year before the Zune was. Why would Microsoft put all that effort into developing a service they weren't going to use? URGE was out long before the Zune was even a white-board project (January 2006).
 
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-21-2007, 10:06 PM
Jason Dunn
Executive Editor
Jason Dunn's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160

I should add that I HOPE nothing changed with the Zune marketplace and the sale of URGE is something that they've been planning for over the past six months...
 
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-21-2007, 09:58 PM
Jason Dunn
Executive Editor
Jason Dunn's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 29,160

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevo777 View Post
Since when is URGE the back end for Zune Marketplace?
Umm...since it was first launched? When we saw the Zune Marketplace we all knew they had just licensed the URGE library and re-skinned it. It's the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevo777 View Post
ZM is a ground-zero project with no ties to anything that came before it.
That's just not the case, sorry.
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:41 PM.