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Amazon takes on Apple with copy-protection-free music

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. macrumors bot

  2. TEG
    macrumors 604


    This is not news. Amazon has been selling MP3s for many months now, also Apple is expanding the DRM-free selection quite aggressively.

  3. macrumors 68020

    Wait, you mean AMAZON has a music store?

    I love how USA Today lags real news by half a year.

    In any case:

    Obviously logicians need not apply for reporting jobs at USA Today!

    Listen: someone becoming #2 in an industry says nothing about the #1 player. The "even though" is a complete non-sequitur. No matter how much a particular company dominates an industry, unless they have an absolute 100% monopoly going, someone is going to be #2, even if the sales of #2 are one song per year while #1 sells 1 billion songs per year!

    Shoddy reporting and copy editing aside, nothing here we didn't already know. Amazon is completely DRM-free, Apple has an 80% share of the overall digital downloads marketplace, people like DRM-free.
  4. macrumors 68000


    So does anyone have stats on how much Amazon's market share has increased and, in particular, how much it's US market share has increased?

    Because, you know, those are the only relevant statistics.
  5. macrumors regular


    Not entirely...

    Clearly Amazon went from 0% to something. But it could well have stolen share from smaller suppliers (Best Buy Rhapsody, for example, or Wal Mart). Apple still could be 80%.

    The most relevant statistic is how big is the total US market, followed by what share the players have of that market. The data indicates that it has grown this quarter by about 20% (in the face of severe declines in CD sales).

    Having said that, I almost always purchase music from Amazon.com now. I only turn to iTunes if the music is not available on Amazon, or if iTunes happens to have a good bundle (like an album and music videos coupled into a "deluxe" version).

    That said, having Amazon.com supply DRM music has NOT impacted my purchase of iTunes music because I just bought CDs before and ripped them for the iPod. I wasn't buying Apple's DRMed music anyway. Even still I will buy a CD unless there is strong economic incentive to buy the MP3s (like several dollar difference).
  6. macrumors 68000


    Good point. We need to understand what the position is now and what it was six month ago.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    At least it's one of the few mainstream articles on the subject that is accurate about the fact that it is the labels clubbing together to refuse DRM-free songs to Apple - not Apple refusing to sell DRM-free songs, which is how it is often reported.

    At the moment, people have a choice between convenience of delivery (iTunes) or convenience of use (DRM-free stores), When Apple and the labels stop fighting eachother, and iTunes can go fully DRM-free, I think we'll see digital music sales skyrocket.
  8. slu
    macrumors 68000


    Hove you used Amazon's MP3 store? Granted the iTunes experience is marginally better, but I wouldn't call the Amazon store inconvenient by any stretch. Hell, once you install the software it loads the songs into iTunes for you automatically.

    Like the poster above, I go to Amazon first for all my music purchases. If they don't have it, then I go to iTunes. I never used another online service before Amazon, so Apple has lost my business because of the lack of DRM free songs from everyone (not saying it is their fault).
  9. macrumors regular


    Actually, purchasing a DRM-free MP3 from Amazon is pretty close to convenient delivery because the song is automatically placed into your iTunes library. the only difference is with iTunes you go to the iTunes store, and with Amazon, you go to the Amazon store using your browser. Once you click and buy the song, you manage it identically using iTunes.

    From all the reporting I've read on both side of the issue (Apple vs. music labels) the best I can figure is that Apple has exercised such tight control (one price, no sales) that they have pissed off the labels. In order to reduce Apple's perceived strength, the music companies are taking new ideas like cheaper DRM-free music elsewhere -- so Amazon's MP3 was born.

    Recent rumors have been flying that Apple will setup some sort of subscription plan (ala Rhapsody) where you can pay a monthly fee and download all the music you want to your iPod. The other alternative is selling a tariffed iPod which will allow you to load music without paying in exchange for a one-time higher fee. For either to happen, we have to go back to DRM music so that it will automatically expire if not renewed.

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