AU’s Lismo vs iTunes

August 6, 2008

I’ll be brief with this because there’s no comparison. iTunes wins based on price, however there’s an article that takes an interesting if not twisted perspective on this.

Lismo charges about 420 yen per download. iTunes Japan charges about 150 yen for the same download.

AU makes it very hard for people to put music into their phones without using the Lismo service and it’s corresponding (very poorly interfaced) software, although it’s not impossible. (Burn a CD with the music you want and rip from that to the phone. You’ll probably have to fix your tags and titles later though.)

A recent article on Toyo Keizai Online argues however that Lismo has the stonger business model because it puts a priority on the copyright holders.

The idea that businesses should treat other businesses more preferentially than consumers is very common in Japan. People are often surprised to hear that Japanese tv stations tend to all do commercials at the time so that viewers don’t have the chance to flip around and avoid the commercials.

There is a long history here of an “industry vs consumer” way of doing business here and I think (hope) the feet of clay crack soon. Of course it may require consumers here in Japan to show a little backbone.


1 Dave August 15, 2008 at 3:00 am

Never knew that the commercials all occur at the same time for that particular reason, although I have notice it happen. Interesting stuff.

The industry vs comsumer approach is easy to see in many facets in Japan though.

2 jay August 17, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I think the relationship between consumers and businesses here is similar to that between voters and the government. A little case of learned helplessness.

3 Dave August 18, 2008 at 1:55 am

You mean the government doesn’t care about the voters because they know their main competitor will offer exactly the same, and the voters know that too?!