MTV is preparing to launch a music download service with plans to compete with Apple’s iTunes Music Store and others, said MTV chief Tom Freston on Monday. Freston, who addressed investors at the Harris Nesbitt Gerard Playtime conference, said the service would debut within the first half of next year, but gave few details. “It will compete with iTunes and everyone else,” he told Reuters in an interview. “There’s no doubt it’s a strong brand, with a strong profile of viewers,” said Phil Leigh, senior analyst at Inside Digital Media, about MTV’s plans. “But they can’t rely solely on their brand come next year… After iTunes launched in April, MTV should have been like a hawk on a field mouse.”