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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More Amazon mp3 Goodness

Remember how I said iTunes was going to have to step it up to stay competitive with Amazon? Well, I think Amazon raised the bar again with their Black Friday Specials, which are still running, apparently. Not only that, but they are doing a spend $25 in "qualifying purchases," get $5 at the mp3 store free promotion until December. The range of purchases is pretty wide. I managed to get a credit before I even knew of the promotion, for instance.

On the Apple front, I mentioned before Apple's attempt to meet Amazon's Friday deals, which is still pretty underwhelming in my eyes. Scuttlebutt is, the talks to make iTunes DRM free rage on with WMG dipping a toe in the water. It's a start, but, again, it's ironic (and suspicious) that so long after Steve Jobs gave his anti-DRM speech, EMI is still the only major to have totally embraced iTunes Plus.

EDIT: Interesting article at Hypebot on what the hold up is. Did Amazon make these same concessions (other than the one for BMG)? Interesting that one of the main issues is an explicitly stated fear that competition will drive prices lower. Regardless, I can't see a control freak like Steve Jobs bending much.

Then there's the oft rumored, would you please get it over with already, Beatles on iTunes talks which have apparently stalled again. I guess they need another dump truck full of money for that one. But, I'm still unconvinced that it's really that big a deal. Sure it'll be good for impulse purchases but are there really that many people waiting for the Beatles music to be available on iTunes to buy it? I have to wonder, with the availability of the Beatles catalog on CD, the ease at which one can find dozens of fan remasterings and "needledrops" of every Beatles record ever made on the web and the looming end of the 50 year copyright protection period in the EU, what exactly is the value of this catalog for a digital retailer like Apple.

Regardless of what sales will be, I just wish they'd get it over with and do it already.

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