With the announcement by Apple that they have sold approximately 6.5 million songs and are basically break-even in their new music service yesterday during their quarterly conference call, many people are announcing their intention to follow Apple's lead and compete with it.
The success so far of Apple's service has prompted a lot of discussion and a number of announcements of upcoming competition, it has also lead to price changes at some of the competing services (such as Rhapsody's drop in their per-burn price).
What remains to be seen is who will win the Windows market for music. Clearly, this is the target that everybody is racing for right now. As a general rule, everybody is selling a similar portfolio of music (mostly the "big 5" of EMI, Warner, Sony, Universal, and BMG), but with different rights and rights mechanisms. However, nobody has seen the success of Apple in terms of explosive revenue growth or touted ease-of-use, and their success has lead to enormous focus on this area.
As Apple continues to target "before the end of the year" for their Windows offering (no-doubt in conjunction with a newer version of software aimed at allowing their iPod to converse better with Windows), there is a lot of announced competition using technologies such as Microsoft's Windows Media Player as a rights management system.
One thing appears certain, there will be outlets for the music that is out there.
However, it does bring to mind the question of the hold-outs and the small players. So far, only a few independents have signed up with Apple and their competitors. Some are too small for the services to work with and others are being obstinate about issues such as "album integrity" (remember when everybody released their hit songs on 45's?, apparently the record industry does not).
The music revolution continues.