Steve Chiotakis: Amazon.com this week launched a music service that’ll let you buy a song, store it on one of their so-called cloud servers, and play it anywhere. But the web retail giant never really checked in with the record labels about it. And, you know, they can be a little sensitive about their music.
Marketplace Tech Report host John Moe is with us now to talk about it. Good morning John.
John Moe: Hi Steve.
Chiotakis: Why didn’t Amazon think it needed record company permission?
Moe: Well their perspective was, you know, it’s your music, you get to put it on a hard drive if you want to. You know, if you have an external hard drive on your computer at home, you can just put your music there, and they’re saying, look, this is just another hard drive, except that it’s on a cloud server that we own that you have access to.
Chiotakis: So now it’s negotiating with those labels — can you say, awkward? What are the labels saying about these plans?
Moe: ‘You know that thing we already did? Is it OK if we have done it?’ It’s a bit of an odd question to phrase. But I think Amazon’s position is, we already had permission to do what we did here, but we want to keep good relationships with labels and we might want to do other things with this music. Their goal, according to the Wall Street Journal, is that they’ll have a vast library of songs, but you won’t have a million different people storing the same song. They’ll have that one Justin Bieber song in one place on Amazon’s servers, and then like a guest list of a million people who can get to it.
Chiotakis: Bieber fever, absolutely.
Moe: You’ll have a massive Bieber hive, and we’re all bees buzzing around the Bieber hive.
Chiotakis: So John, why is Amazon doing this and not Apple?
Moe: Apple’s been rumored to be doing this since, like, the Eisenhower administration or something. This is supposedly, along with the popularity of soccer, this is always just around the corner. And there’s been rumors of Google doing something similar too. Maybe Amazon just got to it faster; they put more resources behind it because they want to sell music, they want to be an iTunes competitor. It’s very possible, too, that Apple and Google are just fine with that happening because Amazon can have the bumps and bruises and learn along the way, and then these other companies can swoop in and do the same thing.
Chiotakis: Marketplace Tech Report host John Moe. John, thanks.
Moe: Thanks Steve.
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