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Was Zune too disruptive to be accepted in the market back in 2006?

When Apple released the first iPod during the fall of 2001, it disrupted the music industry as a whole. iTunes served as a solid platform that protected artists from piracy and was widely adopted in the industry. By 2006, Apple sold over 39 million devices worldwide, owned 3/4th of the mp3 hardware market and 80% of the legal music downloads were happening through iTunes

In the market of 2006, the ownership of music was considered hip, and listeners needed to buy the entire album or song of their choice. No one dared to dethrone the king of the market, except for Microsoft

Microsoft brought in Zune with Toshiba hardware and introduced a $15/month subscription streaming service instead of buying music, all the way back in 2006. The basic infrastructure for fast internet services was not set up for streaming to be the next big thing. Zune was just not able to match to the experience the iPod provided its users

Fast forward to 2020, almost all of us use streaming services, and owning physical files seemed archaic.

I guess Microsoft is really good at being too early and too late in the market. Zune and Windows Phone are some products that were not supposed to be released in their respective timelines


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