Time Magazine compiled a list of the 10 worst tech failures this decade, and the music was unsurprisingly represented with YouTube, SiriusXM and Zune making the cut. To be fair, each of those still have relatively strong brands and aren’t completely down for the count. It could be worse, I mean, look at the others (oh God, Segway…). Still, YouTube, SiriusXM and Zune are hemorrhaging money faster than you may realize. Hypebot already has some nicely written obituaries in response to this story:
– YouTube – Big doesn’t mean profitable and its estimated that the company would have to triple its revenue just to break even. Time doesn’t mention it, but the cost of licensing music – one of its flagship products – contributes mightily to its YouTube’s overhead; and yet the labels even bigger payments.
– Zune – Apple launched the iPod in 2001 and it took Microsoft 5 years to respond with the Zune. It’s been downhill ever since. During the crucial Christmas 2008 Zune generated $85 million in sales while the iPod churned $3.37 billion.
– Sirius XM – You can’t really blame music or licensing for this failure though its demise will hurt a indie and niche music. The two companies simply spent too much money on technology and talent to attract its 18.6 million subscribers. Then there’s competition from iPods, Pandora and more.
Again, particularly with YouTube and SiriusXM, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. It looks really bad, but there are plenty of experts who think they can turn around, and both have strong enough followings to know consumers will always be there.