In direct competition with Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes, Best Buy Co. Inc. has launched its own Best Buy Digital Music Store. Powered by RealNetworks Inc.’s Rhapsody music service, it offers the options of subscribing to a monthly service of unlimited music access for $14.99, or purchasing song tracks individually for 99 cents. Best Buy is No. 11 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites. Apple is No. 15.
Coinciding with the launch, Best Buy is promoting both online and in its stores the sale of SanDisk Corp.’s SanDisk Sansa e200R Rhapsody MP3 music players, which have been optimized to work with its music store, the retailer says. The digital music store will also accommodate any compatible MP3 player, it adds. Subscribers can download music to a computer or to an MP3 music player without limits as long as their subscription is active.
"Our goal is to deliver entertainment to our customers how, when and where they want it, and to help them have the best possible experience," says Jennifer Schaidler, vice president of music for Best Buy. "The Best Buy Digital Music Store and Sansa e200R Rhapsody are part of that goal allowing us to provide an end-to-end digital music solution that will deliver unique content and a premium customer experience. Whether they want to purchase downloads or a subscription and have access to all the music, we`re giving consumers the ability to enjoy entertainment on their terms."