Amazon MP3 - All Major Labels DRM-Free!
Here's a link to Apple Insider, which covers it but gets the story wrong (they seem to think it's bad news for Apple).
Several of the commenters, however, nail it: it's great news for Apple and especially great news for iPhone/iPod owners who can basically now get most music DRM-free and at reasonable prices. (Except for me, who as a Canadian even with NAFTA and Free Trade, can not buy anything, ever, from anyone )
Apple makes its money on hardware, and previously if you wanted to get music from some other store, but wanted an iPod/iPhone, you were out of luck. iTunes existed mostly just to provide content to iPod/iPhone (given the labels 70% cut, minus bandwidth, hosting, development, and credit card transaction fees/order processing, Apple likely had very thin margins on content).
Now the labels have ceded the DRM ground (and whether it ever comes to iTunes or not is won't really matter), so you can buy music for your iPod/iPhone (or any device as MP3 is ubiquitous) from Amazon (and presumably other places eventually).
And if you prefer Amazon, you're out finally out of the nightmare that is WMA DRM (which even the Zune can't/won't support) and can buy any player you want.
- 01-11-2008, 09:17 AM #2
- 01-11-2008, 10:10 AM #3
'tis good news, but personally I'll be a lot more excited when it's available outside of the US (I'm sure it will be, just a question of when).
Agree it doesn't seem like bad news for Apple. If anything it's (more) bad news for the CD. I'd imagine all manufacturers of digital music players will benefit, and as the biggest Apple will likely benefit most. As I understand it, the d/l software even throws files straight into iTunes.
@marcol - CD sales were down (I forget the exact amount -- 20%) so this is probably not bad news for CD sales per-say, but a forced more on the bad-news (sales-wise) for the record labels (they need to do something to make up for the money they're no longer making on high-priced, whole-album CDs).
Would that there were such pressure on TV/Movie companies...
(I was able to buy on Amazon MP3 for the first day, with a US shipping address, but am now locked out as I don't have a US billing address -- to suffer such physical limitations in a digital age is ridiculous as Amazon.com will happily ship me a CD...)
- 01-11-2008, 10:28 AM #5
- 01-11-2008, 10:37 AM #6
...the CD, which in 2006 accounted for over 80% of total global sales, is rapidly fading away. In America, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the volume of physical albums sold dropped by 19% in 2007 from the year before—faster than anyone had expected. For the first half of 2007, sales of music on CD and other physical formats fell by 6% in Britain, by 9% in Japan, France and Spain, by 12% in Italy, 14% in Australia and 21% in Canada. (Sales were flat in Germany.) Paid digital downloads grew rapidly, but did not begin to make up for the loss of revenue from CDs. More worryingly for the industry, the growth of digital downloads appears to be slowing.
Faced with a scenario of falling CD sales and slowing d/l, making the d/l product more appealing seems like one of the few viable responses.
Must be scary numbers from their perspective. Yet it's mind-boggling how the Luddites in the music business completely botched the last 5+ years (treating both technology and their own consumers as de facto criminals).
With the distribution provided by the internet, it will also hopefully up the quality -- as merit rather than exclusive access to distribution begins to matter again. (The movie industry would do well to anticipate this, as fewer people will pay for garbage movies when they have access to a ton of online, user-created content).