Amazon announce DRM free digital music store
Amazon.com has announced that it's going to head deep into the jungle of digital music sales - and will only be selling DRM-free MP3 tracks. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the plans to launch the DRM-free store later in the year in a joint announcement with EMI, who are the first major label to release DRM-free tracks.
At the present time having a DRM-free strategy will mean that Amazon will only be able to release tracks from EMI and Independent labels, restricting the available offering for their store. However, the announcement of a DRM-free strategy from the giant of online retailing will place further pressure on the rest of the major labels to look into releasing DRM-free tracks and will give Amazon the time to enter into what will be no doubt very arduous negotiations with those labels.
Amazon is pursuing a clever strategy by announcing the DRM-free store: in an industry dominated by Apple's iTunes Amazon will need to distinguish itself against its competitors. Amazon, without the benefit of a digital music player to back up its music store offering will be keenly aware that the DRM-free strategy will open up its store to every music players in the market, as Bezos was at pains to point out at the announcement:
"Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device," Bezos noted "we're excited to have EMI joining us in this effort and look forward to offering our customers MP3s from amazing artists like Coldplay, Norah Jones and Joss Stone."
Even for an e-tailer of its size Amazon will have its work cut out to challenge the power of iTunes, but a DRM-free policy is certainly a very very good way to start.