Amazon needs a way to hold on to its music customers in a post-CD era, and tightly integrating its new cloud music service with Amazon MP3 purchases might help it do that, but the concept of a "music locker" is not exactly the most innovative approach and could face licensing issues, according to analysts.
Earlier this week Amazon unveiled a new cloud-based music service that provides users with up to 5GB of free, online music storage, and 20GB of free access for a year if they purchase an album via Amazon MP3. Beyond that, it's $20.
"Amazon needs to establish a strong post-CD role for its music customers, [and] this smartly positioned locker service is an important first step in building that future role," Mark Mulligan, a Forrester research analyst, wrote in a blog post.
Mulligan cautioned, however, that Amazon Cloud Player is not exactly revolutionary. "As logical a next step in the digital music market as locker services might be, they're not an innovation in the music product. They're simply giving people access to the music they have on the devices they own."
Apple must be positively giddy at hearing the news that the iTunes Store is now the #2 retailer of music, second only to Wally World. The company claims that it sold 20 million tunes on Christmas Day alone. Based on an NPD Group survey, the top four also included Best Buy and Target. The study also concluded that about 29 million consumers, ages 36 to 50, acquired music legally. They were those that had recently purchased (or received) MP3 players. That was an increase of 5 mill over the year before. That’s a lot of assuaged guilt.
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