So, Apple is up to something that involves online music sales. And there are rumours that they are also plotting to buy Universal Music from the troubled Vivendi Group. So what are they up to? Whether or not they buy Universal, which is certainly a newsworthy rumour, there’s definitely something going on. And given the untapped market for digital music distribution, I can’t quite believe that Apple will be relying on their 5% market share and doing something which only runs on Macs, although at the moment they are only talking about an iTunes plugin or similar.
I put my money on this being the start of a more concerted push into the consumer market, along the lines of the iPod. Possibly another startup under the Apple brand (anyone remember Claris and Newton?). And being Apple, I hope that they’re going to do something more innovative that click-to-purchase. In fact, I hope they’re going to seize the nettle and release something using collaborative filtering — an Apple-branded Radio-of-Me would work as a proposition, and be way ahead of what anyone else is doing. Have to wait and see.