Music Notes:Brand Awareness; Post Grokster; Hear Music; eMusic; Interoperability Woes

iTunes, Napster dominate digital music in consumer awareness: Ipsos Insight says Napster was the most recognized brand in its August survey while Apple was chosen as “best” more often. Both had the highest usage levels of the various music services. (The sample was 1,088 internet users 12+.) But, Ipsos also says there are signs of “increased awareness for a broader set of online services and music download stores;” name recognition levels included Yahoo! Music, 49 perecent; RealPlayer Music Store, 45 percent and Rhapsody, 41 percent. Then again, MTV.com drew 37 percent, even though it has yet to launch its digital music servive. Press release.

Number of music file-swappers falls, study says: The amount of illegal music downloading hasn’t changed much but the number of households involved dropped 11 percent from 6.4 million in June to 5.7 million in October, according to a study by NPD. Analyst Russ Crupnick says its the first significant decrease that can’t be tied to seasonality. Could this be a sign that the Supremes’ ruling again Grokster is having an impact?

Compatibility Woes Dog Digital Music: Between devices, file formats and copy-protection, music customers are only likely to get more frustrated.

Starbucks Opens New Hear Music Coffeehouse In San Antonion; South Beach Store For Early 2006: Building on the Santa Monica model, the digital catalog for the new version holds more than 1 million songs, nearly a five-fold increase ; there are 35 Hear Music media bars (stations for sampling music and burning cds) in the SA bar, 33 in Miami. The price remains $8.99 for the first 7 songs ($1.28 each), and $0.99 for each additional song.

EMuisic Hits 1 Million Tracks: Indie music service eMusic marked its 1-million track milestone with a live version of the Pixies’ classic “Here Comes Your Man.” It’s from the band’s upcoming digital-only album and will be exclusive on eMusic until January. (For some truly trivial knowledge, eMusic claims to have sold the first legal MP3s online from Frank Black and the Catholics; Black was a founding Pixie.)

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