Ars Technica has the scoop:
Amazon dropped the bomb today by announcing its DRM-free music store. The previously-rumored store will be launched sometime ‘later this year’ and offer unprotected MP3 files for purchase. The Amazon music store, which does not appear to have a name yet, will offer ‘millions’ of songs from over 12,000 record labels.
My music/tech-obsessed friends and I have been annoyed with iTunes Store for some time now. But the problem isn’t just DRM (which, at least publicly, Steve Jobs has been against). Believe it or not, people want to buy music online. I do. But, like so many music fans out there, I’m rarely interested in the garbage that passes for pop music these days. We want variety, and we don’t want to dig for it. Sure, iTunes surprise me with what they do have sometimes. But 12,000 record labels? That sounds like variety.
The real problem is that iTunes is ignoring its long tail (define) customers. This, by the way, is why the alliance between TiVo & Amazon has serious potential to outperform the iTunes + Apple TV combo in the battle for home theater domination.
Anyone else buy movies on iTunes lately? Pretty scarce, right?
If iTunes is to compete with Amazon, they should hurry up and strike deals with every independent record label and movie house they can find. This battle’s about distribution, not design.