OD2’s Big Tune Push

OD2 has announced that it is adding one million more tunes to its library of tracks. Currently standing at about 350,000 songs, OD2’s white label offering for outfits like MyCokeMusic and HMV was looking a little slim, but now they’re going to take it to 1.3 million.

The new catalogue, which is not compatible with the iPod, should be available by the end of the year.

iTunes and Napster offer 750,000 tracks a piece, but are adding more music every week and indeed Apple are close to signing a major indie deal to expand their own catalogue.

OD2 was recently acquired by Loudeye, hence the sudden access to a massive amount of new music.

OD2 are pleased with their sales growth, and announced yesterday that they saw a “significant increase in activity” in the second quarter of this year, citing a 28% increase in sales the week that iTunes launched in Europe, and a 22% rise the week Napster launched. But could this simply be the old internet phenomenon of “a rising tide lifts all boats”, and that growth for all music sites is increasing rapidly?

Market share will decide who wins – when catalogues are so large as to be virtually identical, the consumer will have to choose between their preferred DRM and favourite music hardware. There’s no doubt that iTunes sells iPods, but Windows Media-based sites like OD2’s offering selling WM-compatible devices?


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?