Saturday, May 07, 2005

How Not To Succeed In A Business While Really Trying

How's this for desperate? On Friday, Microsoft sent out the following email to its Microsoft Network users...i.e. the poor shlubs who got hooked on Microsoft's email product and wish we hadn't:

MSN Music: Buy 1 Song, Get 5 Free. How do 5 free songs sound? MSN® Music is giving you 5 free songs when you buy 1. At MSN Music, you'll get more than you'd expect from a music service. To make sure you get the music you're looking for, you can preview any song from major and even independent labels. Choose from hot new songs, time-defying classics, and rare, hard to find recordings from old radio shows [emphasis mine].

Plus watch music videos, read bios and even get concert tickets. Buy only the songs you want for 99¢, or buy the full album for less than you'd pay in a retail store or other online music services. And legally burn all the CDs you want from what you buy, too. And now the deal is even sweeter because you can get 5 songs for free.

What do you think? Makes you want to rush right out and sign up for "MSN Music," eh? No? Well, me neither. I was being ironic.

You'd think that maybe, just maybe, given $35 billion in cash and a desktop operating system monopoly, Microsoft could figure out that people looking for music might want to know exactly what bands we're talking about, and what songs are available.

But, no. In typical Microsoft throw-everything-we-got-and-see-what-sticks fashion, they offer not just music, but music videos, "bios" and even concert tickets...without identifying what music, or music videos, or "bios" or concert tickets we might be talking about.

End result: I hit the delete button.

Meanwhile, Apple sends me an iTunes update with all kinds of new music identified right there in the email.

End result: I download an old Monty Python album, "Matching Tie and Handkerchief," that I haven't heard in twenty years. Great stuff.

I don't know about you, but I'm betting that anybody interested in "old radio shows"--as Microsoft proudly offered in its desperate buy-one-get-five email--is not surfing the net for their music.

Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews' recommendations.


Its_strange said...

I can't read WSJ or Herb or watch TV business news while driving. Its time for a audio blog site on XMSR. Just driving into NYC or around LA tells me it works. And the XMSR audio blog site just might be more than ads and Wallstreet infomercials

Jeff Matthews said...

That's a terrific idea.

Infinity started a "podcast" station along these lines, but satellite radio is probably the way to go.,1412,67344,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1

Its_strange said...

My "introduction" to Wallstreet was Herb Greenberg and Marc Cohodes " Facts from the other side of the Tracks" internet radio show...Both were trying to train people to use their brain. Its time to bring them back on a XMSR audio blog. One we pay a adddition fee for.. You hang with and/or know the people who could put it together. How about it. Talk with them. I have emailed Cramer with this but he thinks i'm a nut .

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