Category: Ebay

July 30, 2003

eBay Launches Music Downloading Auction Site

Overnight, Consumers Flock to Service in Record Numbers

San Jose, CA /DenounceNewswire/ -- 30 July 2003 -- In a stunning move that has other industry players immediately reconsidering their strategies, eBay, Inc. today announced the release of eBay Music, a new marketplace for music downloading. The service, which allows consumers to bid on rights to download any of over 18 million songs, has consumers cheering and competitors including Apple, eMusic,, and Roxio scratching their heads. The eBay Music site offers more songs than all of the other music download services combined.

"Today marks a turning point in the history of music," said Meg Whitman, eBay CEO. "With the launch of eBay Music, consumers finally have a way of acquiring all of the recorded music ever created, and artists now have a way to sell their creations directly to a global audience of over 65 million and counting."

After a year of secret development, eBay Music is launching as a new wave of post-Napster music services takes off. Earlier this year, Apple's iTunes Music Store grabbed the headlines with its slick, easy-to-use service offering some 300,000 songs for 99 cents each. Later this year, Roxio is launching a "legal" version of Napster, and MusicMatch has announced it too is launching a competitor music-downloading service. None offer anywhere near the number of songs of eBay, nor do they have the size and dominance of the web's largest marketplace.

About the eBay Music Service
eBay Music operates similarly to the rest of the eBay site, except consumers who "win" items can immediately download them rather than having to wait for a package to be shipped. Users can use the site by browsing artist names or genres, or by searching directly for an artist, song, album, or genre. Once an item is found, users can then place bids on the right to download a copy of the song.

Rather than charging a flat rate of 99 cents per download like Apple's iTunes Music Store, eBay Music is letting the market decide how to place a value on any artist's work. "We think the market is a lot smarter than the record industry, or even the artists," says Whitman. Within the eBay Music marketplace, songs by popular artists such as Eminem, Britney Spears, and Beyonce may actually be worth less than obscure independent artists who have yet to be commoditized.

A minimum bid is determined by the owner of the recording, in most but not all cases, a record company. The minimum bid may be 1 cent, 1 dollar, or 100 dollars. However, if the seller charges too high a price, no-one may buy it. Sellers may also use eBay's "Buy it Now" feature enabling buyers to skip the auction altogether and buy the item immediately. Unlike conventional eBay auctions, eBay Music auctions immediately start over as soon as anyone "wins", but the minimum bid price becomes the previous "win" price. Thus, prices may rise or fall as the market determines the true value of the song. "Songs that suck, even if performed by world-famous artists, are bound to stay cheap," says Whitman.

Potential Litigation from RIAA
Not surprisingly, the Recording Industry Assocation of America (RIAA) is up in arms over eBay's announcement. "They never consulted with us or got our permission," says Cary Sherman, the beleaguered president of RIAA. "What do they think they're doing, all over again?"

Sherman vows to fight eBay's new venture with a slew of lawsuits.

"Bring 'em on," says Whitman, whose company has a market cap larger than all of the record companies combined plus General Motors.

Posted by denounce at 08:44 PM | Comments

February 28, 2002

eBay Launches Zero-Click Feature for Instant Bidding and Buying

Campbell-by-the-Freeway, CA /DenounceNewswire/ -- February 28, 2002 -- eBay, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) today announced the release of Zero-Click, a patented system for enabling its 40-million users to bid and buy items instantly, without having to even click a button on their mice.

"Zero-Click represents a huge leap forth in usability for our site," said Meg Whitman, eBay's Chief Executive Officer. "Sellers will be thrilled with the increased activity for their items, and bidders will find they're bidding on things they had no idea they bid on!"

The technology behind Zero-Click is simple: when a user moves his or her mouse cursor over a certain area of the screen, the eBay system recognizes this and records the activity as a bid request or as a "buy it now" request, depending on what area of the screen the user mouses over. Every five minutes, the website pops up a window describing all the things a user has bid on or bought. There is no way to back out of a Zero-Click bid or buy-it-now transaction. Users who do not pay are banned from the site and permanently exiled to Yahoo Auctions as punishment.

To prevent users from using the Zero-Click capability by accident, eBay has made available an opt-out feature, available by sending a stamped, self-addressed postcard to eBay's customer support division in Utah and waiting six to eight weeks for activation.

"I can't believe how many things I've bought!" said one eBay buyer, who asked to remain anonymous lest her spouse find out. "It's scary! What used to be just browsing is now buying, by simply moving the mouse around the search results page!"

Some eBay customers are not so happy with the new feature, and have disconnected their mice from their computers. "We're not too concerned about these users," says Whitman. "By next week we'll have ten thousand more customers ready to take their place and buy, buy, buy!"

"It's an interesting feature," quipped Indu Strypundit, an industry pundit. "And good timing -- they had to do something quick to distract Wall Street from their blowing it in the Japanese market."

Posted by denounce at 05:44 PM

January 03, 2001

It's Official: Merriam-Webster Adds Two Words to Latest English Language Dictionary -- eBay and CNet

West Filabucket, NY /DenounceNewswire/ -- January 3, 2001 -- Merriam-Webster Company today announced it has added two technical terms to the English Language Dictionary: "ebay" and "cnet".

The first, "ebay", named after the famous online auction site, shall have the following official definition:

Pronunciation: E bA
Date 2000
Function: verb
1. To crash, fail, or otherwise malfunction.
2. To build a monolithic device knowing it will likely crash, fail, or otherwise malfunction
3..To lose $7 billion or more in market value in a single day
4..To develop your high-traffic web site using Microsoft products.

Example usage:
Did you hear about our competitor? They ebayed something fierce yesterday. Whew. That had to hurt.

Function: noun
1. The act of crashing, failing, or otherwise malfunctioning.
2. A system which is prone to failure
3. A massive loss of market capitalization, as in a publicly-traded company

Example usage:
You better have built a solid architecture, I don't want any ebays here!

"In the past year, 'to ebay' has become a commonplace term in the tech community for meaning a computer crash, especially for a commercial web site crash," said Indu Strypundit, an industry pundit. "Indeed, the motto at some dot-com engineering organizations these days goes something like this: "Otay ebay, ortay otnay otay ebay", which is Pig Latin for "built it right the first time or you deserve to lose your customers."

In related news, Merriam-Webster has chosen to add the word "cnet" (pronounced cee-net) to its latest dictionary.

Pronunciation: C 'n&t
Function: verb
Date 2000
1. To gloat.
2. To point out the weaknesses of a competitor.
3..To remind of past failures while gloating about the current failure

Example usage:
Okay so our competitors are idiots. Stop cnetting and get back to work.

Merriam-Webster noted that for each instance of an eBay website outage, the CNet news website was on top of it in a flash, reporting all of eBay's miserable details with glee, including a listing of all past outages. CNet is a competitor to eBay and runs its own CNet branded auction service.

Posted by denounce at 05:53 PM

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