Amazon Completes Major Label Sweep, Sony BMG Signs On To Offer DRM-Free MP3 Songs
Amazon has announced that it will sell MP3 songs from Sony BMG without Digital Rights Management (DRM). The announcement means that Amazon has deals with all four major music labels, and this could be the most serious attempt to dethrone iTunes. The DRM-free songs from Sony BMG will be available for purchase on Amazon MP3 later this month.
A substantial lot of DRM-free music from all four majors gives Amazon the ammo it needs to battle Apple’s iTunes Store for supremacy, but Amazon has a long way to go to compete with Apple’s formidable iPod/iTunes ecosystem, even with Universal Music Group has not licensing its DRM-free catalog to Apple.
The irony is that the four majors have ended up going along with everything Jobs and company has supported. Jobs insisted on selling individual songs for 99 cents, the labels wanted to sell them for more, now they sell for 89 cents on Amazon. Jobs wanted to eradicate DRM from downloads, the labels insisted on DRM, now the labels are selling MP3’s. And so on…
The rub between the four majors and Jobs comes down to ego. Nobody likes getting the “Big Fat Told You So!” Especially music industry executives who haven’t made a savvy technology decision in 7 years. And nobody can dish out the “Big Fat Told You So!” like Mr. Jobs.
The Future: Guess what? Apple could care less if they’re no longer the #1 online music retailer. If they fall to number 2 or 3, it doesn’t matter to them, it’s all about selling hardware. Wait till Apple opens up the iPod’s Touch/iPhone to official third party developers…don’t you think someone is going to come up with a sophisticated way to swap files wirelessly?