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Old 10-20-2007, 06:00 AM
Adam Krebs
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Default First Genre-Specific Zune To Be Released: A Glorified Reggaeton CD


"Wisin & Yandel, the reggaeton duo with an uncanny knack for delivering hit singles, will become the first act to get its own customized Zune player, Billboard has learned.

The limited-edition Wisin & Yandel Zune device will hit Wal-Mart stores nationwide October 29, before the release of the duo's new album, 'Los Extraterrestres,' November 6.

Featuring the new album, videos, exclusive pictures and customized packaging, the MP3 player is but one aspect of a multiplatform Microsoft promotion that targets a new Latin consumer at the same time it promotes a hip Latin act."

It seems Microsoft is serious about expanding into the Latino demographic, and Winsin and Yandel (known for their club hits and addition to Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind" remix) are a great place to start. They're just "indie" enough to boost Microsoft's cred, yet popular and well-known enough to help them sell some players.

I read an article on ZDNet a while ago about using iPods as pretty much CDs--preloaded with content that you already like, and you can modify it from there. Ignoring the Apple Corps vs Apple Computer ruling which states that Apple can't sell any hardware device with music*, this would seem like a bad idea on many levels. But Microsoft seems to have pulled it off to some degree with the preloaded content on Zune1. The content served several purposes, but mainly to bolster the Zune's indie cred while also serving as a demo for how content is handled (giving users the experience of how it would work when they added their own media.)

" The choice to go Latin for its first customized device 'is a statement,' Zune multicultural marketing manager Javier Farfan said. 'Latin music as a whole is a big priority for Zune and for Microsoft.' "

Microsoft seems to be investing in the niche markets and promoting things that otherwise would get left behind. Believe it or not, I like that strategy. As much as users complained that it lead to a lack of firmware updates, I absolutely loved seeing Brand Nubian perform live. It only furthered my loyalty to the brand, and it exposed many seemingly influential people to find out more.

But then there's the question of the music. Why Reggaeton? Why not Salsa? Why not jazz? Personally, I find most Reggaeton annoying noise, but then again, that's exactly what my elders said about my musical taste.

The cycle keeps spinning.

P.S. Is it just me or does the title of the Reuters article ("Microsoft offers Latin market a Zune of their own" remind you of something else?

*Yes, I know it isn't that simple, plus the judge basically reversed the decision, with many analysts speculating that
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