Friday, September 8, 2006

Amazon Unbox

Over the last two or three years I've basically stopped buying CDs opting instead to buy music digitally (except for artists on really small labels). And within the last few months, since I got my video iPod, I've started to buy video content digitally too (Shiree and I are HOOKED on Prison Break).

Because I have a Mac and iPod I've been doing all of my purchasing through the iTunes Music Store, and while I have my beefs with them (DRM prevents playing on non Apple software, there's no "wishlist", navigation is poor, etc.) it's been a great experience and I'm hooked. That said, when Amazon announced Amazon Unbox I was intrigued and wanted to try it. I read a little bit and noted that buying a video gets you "DVD-quality video to watch on your PC or TV, and a video file optimized for compatible portable video players". I just assumed that would work on my Mac/iPod setup. Nope! Not only does Amazon Unbox not work for the iPod, it doesn't work on a Mac either. The iPod bit is understandable. I'm sure the media companies aren't licensing the content without DRM and Apple's DRM for the iPod is it's special sauce that it won't open up to competitors. I suppose it's even reasonable to not support the Mac since it's only 10% marketshare or somesuch.

However, I don't see a non-iPod strategy working out. As of now, people are not going to watch video content on their PC and you're right to point out that people are not watching video content on their iPod either. BUT, they will dump the video content onto a player and then plug it into their home entertainment system (for example I use a n RCA/video cable). So, as of now, Amazon is trying to compete in 13% of the player market and maybe not even that much because they support a pretty limited set of players.

No comments:

Post a Comment