It seems that every man, his dog and the gerbil he never let near a computer are releasing their own music download services these days, but here’s one that really makes sense: Amazon.
Being the largest web retailer for pretty much ever it seems strange that the move has taken so long but now it is underway rumours are rife it will also launch an Amazon branded music player to go with it.
Naturally, the company refuses to confirm this latter story (reported by notable news heavyweights including the Wall Street Journal) but Amazon CFO Thomas J. Szkutak fired a warning shot last month when he said to investors, “As we move forward with digital, we think Amazon is especially well-positioned to capture a bigger part of that business.”
Of course, creating music download services and digital audio players appears to be something anyone with a copy of PowerPoint and a rusty screwdriver has done. The stark truth, however, is that while giants such as Sony, Napster, AOL, RealNetworks, Yahoo, iRiver, Creative and many more have tried to make a dent in one of both sectors Apple has actually increased its market lead from 49 per cent in 2004 to 67 per cent in 2005*.
As for times and dates of Amazon’s arrival, the summer has been mooted for the music download scene with a player to follow a little later. A monthly subscription service is said to be the preferred method of payment, which is brave considering this system has yet to prove popular for anyone else. Still, Amazon should have more push than most, since millions of people across the globe already trust its intuitive and secure e-commerce software.
Whether this translates in real life remains to be seen…
According to research firm NPD Group*