Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Amazon Push to Compete with iTunes

Interesting article from the Financial Times was posted today ( http://tinyurl.com/34gaao ). Apparently Amazon is planning to make a huge push during the Super Bowl to promote its music downloading service. Amazon plans to offer up to a 1 billion free downloads and hopes to use Justin Timberlake to promote this service. Amazon has been in the download business for a little while now, but it hasn't really been able to compete with the 80% market share that iTunes has occupied for the past upteenth number of years. Amazon hopes to promote their downloads at a lower price ($0.89 vs. $0.99 for iTunes) and promote that their mp3's are DRM (digital rights management) free. DRM is what prevents iTunes users from using their downloaded songs on other devices (such as the Zune). I am a big proponent of mp3's that are DRM free (as you can see from my previous posts). Though many of the major record labels are starting to come around to the idea of DRM free downloads, they don't want to offer them via iTunes. They are attempting to venture to other download services, but is that really good for the consumer? We could argue this til we're blue in the face, but ultimately, I don't see iTunes hurting anytime soon. As the article states, it doesn't really matter if people go to other sites to download their music, it can only help out Apple and Steve Jobs. The more music that is offered, the more likely people will be to buy an iPod.

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