Arigato! Yahoo Japan Streaming Music For Free

    August 22, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Yahoo welcomes Apple to the digital music business in Japan by utilizing the time-tested “first one’s free” marketing strategy.

Yahoo Japan’s Tokyo operations recently began offering full songs as free samples to its music visitors. A Bloomberg report notes Yahoo’s status as Japan’s most frequently visited portal site, and it looks like Yahoo wants to use that status to full effect.

Apple, after many rumors and the usual heated denials from Cupertino, finally launched its iTunes Japan Music Store. In four days, Apple had sold one million songs from the site, a testimony to the demand that awaited its debut.

Yahoo’s streamed songs are for listening only. They can’t be saved or burned to CD, per the site’s usage terms. But Yahoo may have to adjust its pricing of 210 yen per song, as Apple charges 150 to 200 yen for each download.

As they have lined up video advertising from Toyota and Asahi Breweries to play before those free songs per a Business Week report, perhaps Yahoo Japan will redirect some of that ad revenue to make some price cuts and try to steal away some of Apple’s nascent business.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.