Amazonmp3 v. iTunes Store

Folks, it’s WAY too early to be drawing any kind of conclusive comparisons of Amazonmp3 (beta) and the iTunes Store (I’ll call it version 7). Although, Om Malik has a very good side by side and where our options weigh in at.

First, the online music business is really just getting started. It’s by no means a mature market. Maturing? Yes. Mature. Nope. No one place has the whole package. The recommendation engines are weak. The social sharing of lists is far from ideal… The list of deficiencies and possible innovation is long.

Second. Remember back when Bezos and co. came on the scene? They were pooh-poohed and discounted. Then they promptly began pulling judo moves on the BOOK industry of all boring things and look at them now! No. To be sure, Amazon’s got the clout, the respect, the scalable computing and the prowess to get into this market and make some amazing things occur (89 cents at a time).

Sure, they’re not selling music in far flung countries yet. It’s not even a week old folks! (sheesh)

Third. Pricing is, um, interesting. I’ve bought one whole album on iTunes. Everything else has been onesy-twosy singles. They’ve chosen to offer almost all of their Top 100 singles at 89 cents per. OK, that’s Long Tail thinking. Buy the pop business with a dime discount and market the peeps like crazy and feed them on the Long Tail at 99 cents a bite.

Fourth. Their DRM policy is Spot Freakin On The Money. Why they have better DRM deals than Apple I can only imagine. They may have had to give a LOT of concessions to swing those deals. Concessions Apple just wasn’t willing to make. OK, fine. That simply left the door open for someone else to come in and put on a show to challenge Apple’s dominance. Keep in mind… Bezos has show us time and time again he’s willing to LOSE LOTS OF MONEY to eventually own a category. If they had to sell their Soul to get to DRMless R&B – he’s the guy that would have done it.

Finally. We’re in the very early moments of the first round of the bout. Up to this point Apple’s been shadow boxing. Now, someone with some real teeth and competitive umpf to them is bobbing and weaving across the deck. And, this isn’t even the championship round. There are some contenders out there we haven’t even heard from yet.

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4 Comments on “Amazonmp3 v. iTunes Store”

  1. Robert Says:

    I long for the day to be able to purchase DRM free music online – a day where companies stop treating all their customers like thieves. Amazon may be our answer. I think at first everyone supported the DRM-crippled music, all in the name of “saving a penny” for music. But now, I think it’s gotten out of hand, and as more folks start purchasing music online, they are finding it more difficult to play that “special” song because of DRM.

    As far as Apple is concerned, I think they’ve gotten a little too comfortable with their itunes store, so maybe amazon will give them a run for their music.. err money.

    Good post!

  2. gwhiz Says:

    Interesting angle Robert. The thing about Amazon is they’ll definitely give Apple a run for their money. Unlike or some others who are known for on-again, off-again commitment to their dot com plays… Amazon plays a long game (for keeps).

    At the very least I’m going to be hopeful Apple gets very serious about negotiating those DRM clauses as their labels are signing their new commitments.

    Personally, I have no problems with iTunes’ DRM or the (lack of quality) of the recordings. They’re adequate for my needs. Today. What I can’t be sure of is how limiting that same DRM might be two, three years from now… Who knows what that might be (cough, ringtones!, cough).

  3. hornbeck Says:

    I personally see this as a way for the record companies to stick it to Jobs. AmazonMP3 is going to get better deals and DRM-Free music from the record companies simply because those same record companies don’t like Steve.

    He does not put up with their crap and always tries to win and does not like to back down. This has caused them pain and I feel that they simply want him to pay. Yeah iTunes makes them a lot of money, but if you look at the recent trends, these companies are willing to put money into other companies, either of their own making such as Hulu or by backing Amazon.

    It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. I am hoping that iTunes can step up as I purchase TV, movie and music from there and would hate to see it start to go away.

  4. SongBoxx Says:

    For another source of Non-DRM tracks, there is a website that searches over 6,000,000 of them (not including AmazonMP3, which it says its adding soon) all at once – With the addition of AmazonMP3, it’ll be a pretty incredible search engine, and THE place to figure out where to purchase non-DRM music on the internet.

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