In the already crowded digital-downloading space, Amazon.com
Despite Amazon's girth in all things e-commerce, it will be a challenging venture. Talking the major labels into serving up DRM-free tracks will be great for music fans who want the freedom to port their purchases everywhere, but it may come at the expense of sites with tighter controls on how music is distributed. Good riddance, you say? Perhaps, but it may also keep labels from offering up the newer, better-selling titles that the prerecorded-music industry is more protective about when it comes to file-sharing piracy.
Variable pricing also sounds like a great departure from the $0.99 a track that Apple
Does this mean I am weary of Amazon's approach? Yes. Does that mean I think it's a bad idea? No way, my friend. Amazon is late to the game, and it had to bring something new to the table beyond its huge database of trusting customers. After what seems to be a rather tepid market reaction to its Unbox digital video service, Amazon has to be more concerned with winning over consumers than merchants at this juncture, and going DRM-free and offering variable pricing will win it some vocal cheerleaders.
Even the established sites like Napster
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz once had his band signed to Sony's Columbia Records label. It didn't exactly pan out. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. T he Fool has a disclosure policy.