MTV URGE Crushes iTunes Music Store

The more I have time to think about an MTV and Microsoft music partnership, the more I think iTunes Music Store may finally see a real challenger emerge. It's never really fair to compare iTunes to anything else because really iTunes is designed soley for the purpose of selling more iPods and building ongoing relationships with iPod owners. No other music service controls the experience end-to-end the way Apple does which is both its greatest strength and Achillies heel. Still, iTunes is the benchmark against which all music services are judged, so judge we must. MTV has sucessfully defined cool in the music space for the last quarter century. Even Apple can’t define cool the way MTV does.

Part 1 of the MTV URGE takeover:
Using and the television properties for MTV, VH1 and CMT to promote the hell out of the service. Think something along the lines of that was Green Day's latest video and you can buy the song right now from URGE. This is the same strategy Disney uses to sucessfully cross-promote their merchandise through Disney Channel and Disney Stores.

Part 2 of the MTV URGE takeover:
Love or hate the major labels that make up the RIAA, the artists in that camp remain the larger than life celebrities with clout to change the marketplace. MTV makes or breaks these artists with shows like TRL, Cribs, and special launch events like that all day 50 Cent marathon prior to his last album. You can almost guarantee the right artists will be sporting URGE compatible players. Paris Hilton will arrive at the MTV Movie Awards with a diamond encrusted Creative Zen. 50 Cent will sport the latest iRiver while crusing the strip in the back of his stretch Bentley surrounded by bikini-clad hotties.

Part 3 of the MTV URGE takeover:
No more seeing the same exclusive tracks available on every music service. MTV will get real exclusivity on tracks from artists the labels need to break. It's not exactly payola, but you can always tell who lives in the MTV stable at any given time.

Part 4 of the MTV URGE takeover:
URGE compatible devices get worked into reality shows. Suddenly Road Rules is listening to clues on an iRiver. VH1 Behind the Music encourages you to help save the band by shopping at URGE. The CMT Outlaws are available exclusively from URGE.

Of course the strongest case for MTV knocking iTMS down a peg is the sheer power of peer pressure. Make URGE available as Windows Media DRM files and the core MTV demographic starts buying portable devices compatible with URGE. If the iPod won't work, the iPod gets chucked in a drawer or put on eBay. The kids grow up with MTV compatible devices and when their tastes grow stale at 25, like most people's do, they stick with MTV because that's what they know.