Is Slacker Dead On Arrival?
After much fanfare, and then several major delays, the Slacker music player and subscription service finally debuted. Unfortunately, the company’s sales appear to be lifeless at best, and it could be just a matter of time before the company is pushing daisies.
The company is only seeding reviewers who will give the player at least some love, but the reality is that the device has come up wanting in several categories that even the most biased reviewers have to acknowledge. Although the device contains a large 4″display, it is unwieldy with poorly placed controls. In addition, the player has a serious noise floor issue that is immediately noticeable, even to individuals who are not demanding about quality.
The Slacker has built in Wi-Fi and the storage capacities ranging from 2GB to 120GB, but that’s not enough juice in this age to substantiate paying their $7.50 monthly subscription fee, especially for an online interface that looks like it’s from 1998.
The Future: Slacker will be down for the count by the 2008 holiday season, when after lackluster sales, the company will formally receive a toe-tag.
What’s amazing to industry watchers is the simple fact that new concerns continue to enter the extremely crowded and competitive world of personal media players with vapid products. Yes, music is a sexy business to be involved in, but if you want in, you’ve got to come strong. What these wannabe companies should do is surrender the fantasy, that they’re going to hit it big by just simply debuting a product in the marketplace. Not only does your product have to reinvent how people interact and enjoy with music, but you’ve got to hit the ground sprinting with a comprehensive road-map of where your product/service is going. Go big, or go home…