Amazon's DRM-Free Download Store Launches With 2.3 Million Tracks
New Music Business Briefing: CMJ Responds, Universal vs. iTunes & Much More

Analysis: What The Amazon Store Is... And Is Not.

Amazon_7 You can find our in depth first look at the new Amazon DRM free download store here. But just how "industry changing" is it?

The Amazon MP3 Download Store IS:

  • An important step forward for digital music.
    • Amazon has set the bar higher and that's good for the entire industry. Plus Amazon name and buying experience and the universal usability of the tracks should help expand the universe of download buyers.
  • A another big nail in the DRM coffin.
  • A boost for the record industry.
    • Amazon is a partner the labels already know and trust who just gave them everything that Apple is fighting not to: variable pricing, full album downloads, universal compatibility and DRM sales of indie artists.
    • Come on WMG and Sony BMG...walk towards the light...
  • A serious threat to every other download store.
    • Not only does it have all of the major label DRM free product that they do. It has hundreds of thousands of indie tracks that the others do not.
  • A possible eMusic killer.
    • With defections from some a few of their most important labels, eMusic is left competing on price alone. I predict that when the checks from Amazon downloads equal those they get from eMusic that more indie labels will pull out.

The Amazon MP3 Download Store IS NOT:

  • The iTunes killer.
    • Serious competition yes. Killer no. Too many people are used to the iTunes to iPod experience no matter how easy Amazon makes it.
  • The answer to all your download buying needs.
    • It's not their fault. The labels won't let them...yet.
  • A mobile solution. 
    • With the Verizon's deal with Rhapsody/MTV and the the iTunes Wireless store, Amazon needs to move quickly to add over the air downloads.

Tell us what you think. We'll post the best comments and reaction from around the web tomorrow.