According to numerous reports, online retail behemoth Amazon.com is preparing to launch its long-delayed digital-music store in May. Digital Music News is reporting that the store will mostly be a low-key affair, with DRM-free MP3s being rolled into approved albums’ current project pages. No word on whether the four major-label groups will be participating yet, but Amazon must have finally realized that they had to launch some sort of digital-music play during this decade:
Over the past few years, Amazon has been considering a broad range of music ecommerce possibilities. In earlier discussions, sources confirmed that meetings had occurred with numerous portable MP3 manufacturers, and most recently with MP3-based independent retailer eMusic. All of those discussions fizzled, leaving Amazon with a solution that plays with, instead of against, the dominant iPod+iTunes ecosystem.
Instead of competing with iTunes, Amazon will encourage users to incorporate their downloads into the Apple store, and transfer tracks to their iPods. “Stick with iTunes, but buy from Amazon,” one source quipped.
Yes, that’s right–Amazon’s proposed naming-the-competitor strategy is basically the equivalent of a jilted suitor saying “Please, please, I know you’re with her, but can’t you fool around with me on the side?” Which doesn’t sound like the best way to go to us, but who knows–maybe if the bitrate’s attractive enough, people will be convinced to give it a second glance.
Amazon Readies Simple, Integrated, MP3-Based Entrance [Digital Music News]