Archive for September 27th, 2007

Amazon dives into the online music industry

Ten Sentences on AmazonMP3, the Music Download Store | iLounge

After slipping to be the number 4 reseller of music, digital or otherwise the expected Amazon Music store is now online. It is currently restricted to U.S. customers but it boasts 2 million songs. With the recent closure of Virgin Music and Sony’s Connect store, the legal online music downloads is about to begin.

iTunes has dominated online music retail business while it’s competitors have closed shop. DRM or digital rights management drives the digital music industry and long struggled with P2P networks and the move to a digital format. Apple did it’s AAC format and Microsoft with WMA and here comes Amazon with their ZERO DRM MP3 at 256k.

Yes you heard it right. ZERO DRM MP3. Well MP3 doesn’t actually have DRM so there. EMI and Vivendi-Universal Music had announced earlier that they would be selling DRM-free music and it seems that they’ve kept their word.

There are gaping holes in the 2 million catalogue of songs they have but it Amazon redirects you to purchase the actual CD if you really want it. Songs are priced competitively at $0.89 and $0.99 as well as the albums which should really give iTunes for a run for it’s money for the next few months.

Amazon has done it right but for how long? The same could be said of the iTunes store when it started and now after all the money that has been spent on the store we can now see the greedy arm of the music industry coming into play. How long can Amazon keep their DRM-free music as well as the rest of the industry to jump in.

It’s very hard to discuss the future of online music when it’s only been less than week. But we cannot deny that it is welcomed.

What I would want Amazon to would be to tear down the walls of restriction between countries. I’d gladly purchase music from Japan or France but due to the music industry’s restrictions we’ll have to wait on how they will tackle this.

The music industry is sadly lagging so far behind on the digital curve and if they don’t adapt the music industry will be doomed. They attribute their losses to music piracy, but what would lead honest people to pirate their music. Unavailability. By denying or even delaying music releases in other countries and people want to hear it now, would lead people to get their music elsewhere if they cannot get it legally. Those advocating subscriptions for music are out of their minds.

So until I’ve actually bought music off the store, I’ll post again on this topic.