By Richard Menta 6/18/07
Competition is tough in the paid download arena, what with iTunes taking three-fouths of the market. It appears that Sony's latest attempt to develop its own digital download store is the latest casualty. According to several sources on the web the company is phasing out the service and some staff have already been informed that they will be laid off.
According to paidContent.org Sony Connect head Steve Banfield will leave in the next few weeks. The eBooks section of the site will supposedly stay online to service the Sony Reader product, but until an official word from Sony is released it waits to be seen if this division will also get the axe or be moved.
In 2000 Sony was the first major label to open up a paid download service. It failed due to a combination of poor operability and high pricing ($3.50 per track). Sony tried again the following year with a joint venture with Universal called PressPlay. That also failed to ignite consumer interest. The underlying technology was eventually sold to Roxio, who updated it to serve as the base of the present Napster service.
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