Amazon.com, one of the largest digital retailers in the world, has announced its plan to launch a music store.
Amazon’s goal is to sell music that listeners can play on a variety of devices, be it Apple Inc.’s iPod or Microsoft’s Zune. Amazon understands that the most convenient way to sell music is by offering such flexibility to consumers. The company plans to deliver music in a format, such as MP3, that doesn’t include copy-protection software, known as digital rights management, or DRM for short.
Music sold through Apple’s iTunes digital store typically has the despicable DRM, meaning you can only play it on an iPod. Problem is, music sold via other services is incompatible with the iPod. That’s where Amazon steps in. Are we seeing a digital revolution of some sort here?
Amazon’s vice-president of digital media, Bill Carr, says that consumers find that arrangement "confusing and off-putting," and Amazon’s store will only sell DRM-free music, meaning that users can play their music on whatever device they prefer.
Amazon says it expects to launch with content from 12,000 record labels, including EMI.