Eating Away the iPOD Brand

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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4 Responses

  1. Frank says:

    I think a lot depends on a) how well Apple’s corporate partners control the catalog of desired music and b) how hard Apple makes “switching.”

    a) If MySpace and other similar sites start selling music, they may create a viable alternative to the iTunes music store. But as it stands, Apple’s hardware/software dominance & its good deals with the Big 4 are pretty hard to overcome.

    b) People invest a lot of time in making their iPod playlists and downloading content to it. (I have about 45 gigs on mine now…the majority is free podcasts.) I’ve found it very difficult to transfer any of that material to my Dell MP3 player or iAudio radio/mini MP3 player…rather, I’d have to laboriously re-rip or re-download everything (in non-apple format) I’ve attained over the past few years.

    HIPAA mandates some degree of health insurance portability, and the FCC recently made cell phone carriers give customers number portability. How about playlist/music portability between players?

  2. Bruce Boyden says:

    “[A] mass-market product rarely equates with edgy fashionability.” Well, now, that’s interesting if true (which it may not be — I think consumers in general want to be edgily fashionable in lockstep with their friends and neighbors), because it would mean that the strength of network effects for devices is limited at the top — creating pressure for a “long[er] tail” of devices than would otherwise exist. I.e., iPods’ very prevalence strengthens the market for other brands of “pods.”

  3. Clark says:

    I think more depends upon how easy to use the alternative services are. No one tends to mention in these debates just how bad most of the alternatives like Napster are. We’ll see how MS’ Zune pans out.

    Frank, I bet you encoded using AAC. The non-DRMed AAC format is public and many players support it. The limitation you note is due not to Apple’s DRM but your Dell MP3 Player I suspect.

  4. jasmin says:

    i think hee shuld be more brands then jsut the “apple” brand it is the only brand people buy today cuz they dont no about the other brand form the (UK) and Europe. they spend around 50-90 dollars just for the brand apple to be writen on the back i would like to tlel you its a waste of money and if youd like to find out more contact me