Amazon.com yesterday announced the Amazon MP3 music store will be pre-loaded on the T-Mobile G1, the first Android-powered phone, in partnership with Google. But that’s not ruffling the feathers of at least one competitor.
With the G1 phone, users can search, download, buy and play music from Amazon MP3, which offers more than 6 million DRM-free MP3 songs from all four major music labels and thousands of independent labels. The phone goes on sale Oct. 22 with service through T-Mobile USA.
Neil Smith, vice president of business management for Rhapsody, the joint venture between MTV Networks and Real Networks, said he expects a “nice, friendly” competition to continue for years to come with Amazon – and others, for that matter. Rhapsody also offers more than 6 million tunes.
“We feel very good about our partner Verizon (Wireless),” he said. “We think Verizon … is the most forward-looking and most aggressive in the content space right now, and they’ve made a significant investment in music, robust music offerings, including Rhapsody. We’re going to compete with Amazon, iTunes, anybody else.”
While acknowledging the iPhone is a “great product,” it’s only a small fraction of the devices capable of playing MP3s. “There’s plenty of opportunity out there outside the iPhone for us and others to compete.”
Rhapsody also is pleased with the marketing/advertising power that Verizon Wireless brings. The past couple weeks, for example, the carrier has advertised its V Cast Music with Rhapsody in spots running during Monday Night Football.
Verizon launched its Rhapsody music subscription service in June.