retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters reports that "Amazon.com Inc., taking aim at Apple's dominant iTunes store, on Thursday unveiled a service that it hopes will boost digital music sales and encourage more people to use its Cloud music service. It launched Amazon AutoRip, which gives customers free digital versions of music CDs they buy from the world's largest Internet retailer.

"The digital music files are automatically stored in customer libraries in remote datacenters run by Amazon, where they are available to play or download immediately through its Cloud Player service, the company said."

And here's the interesting part: "The move sparked speculation that Amazon may be able to do the same for books, making Kindle ebook copies of physical titles."
KC's View:
If Amazon does that, it indeed would be a big "wow!" It is hard to overestimate the competitive advantage it would give Amazon if it were able to give me (or, frankly, even sell me at a small surcharge) a digital copy of every physical book I buy from it. And it would be even more amazing if it would be willing to do so for books I've bought in the past. (I'd be thrilled to pay a buck or two for digital copies of many of the hardcover and paperback books I've bought from Amazon.)

By the way ... it seems to me that Apple ought to be trying to strike the same kinds of deals for music bought through iTunes and books bought through iBooks. (It is a little more complicated because the content starts in these cases as digital ... but I'd certainly be looking for a way to compete across media.)

Such a move says clearly that it is all about content, not the form in which you consume the content. Which is a very 21st century way of looking at things.