Amazon is making sound waves today with rumors of the upcoming Amazon AutoRip service. Amazon’s new music service will allow CD buyers to store digital tracks of purchased CDs in Amazon’s cloud free of charge. This is the biggest news involving CD purchases to surface in years. While many companies largely view CDs as a dead form of entertainment, Amazon doesn’t quite see things that way.
How Amazon AutoRip Will Work
First, I should mention that the name “AutoRip” is just something that’s been floating around Amazon’s corporate offices. In all likelihood, this name will change once the service has been officially released. It has been stated by those close to Amazon’s corporate office that the new music service may also include CDs that have been purchased in the past. This means that any CD you purchased from Amazon in the past will automatically be uploaded to Amazon’s cloud. As mentioned, any CD purchased going forward will also be added to the cloud.
Of course, Amazon is trying to get consumers to purchase more CDs from the massive content company, but Amazon might also be onto something here. While many music enthusiasts now download tracks instead of purchasing CDs, giving consumers the opportunity to purchase a CD and keep a digital track might be something that appeals to a lot of people. After all, being able to hold onto a physical copy of a CD while also having access to digital tracks is the best of both worlds. Amazon is not alone in this thinking, though.
Bringing CDs and DVDs Back
The record and movie industry has been working on getting people to purchase CDs and DVDs for some time now with the creation of a project called UltraViolet. While not wildly popular, UltraViolet is a movement, of sorts, to get movie watchers to abide by industry standards for watching and keeping movies in the cloud. Amazon is taking a much more consumer-friendly approach with AutoRip.
Amazon’s new CD venture is a good move for the company –especially since many consumers still see a great deal of value in a hard copy CD. It’s hard to give someone the gift of a digital track, but providing a gift recipient with a copy of a CD is still highly valued. If Amazon can find a way to allow people to gift a digital copy of a CD while sending someone a hard copy gift, this service can be pushed even further. Once a CDs tracks have been added to Amazon’s cloud, those tracks can then be transferred to any device (such as an iPod or smartphone).
Amazon hasn’t made any official announcements yet, so it’s hard to say whether or not the company’s CD prices will change to reflect the new service. But, I’m guessing that Amazon will keep costs low in order to compete with iTunes. If you think back a bit, you’ll remember that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos was once the kind of the music scene until iTunes took it all away.
Add to that the fact that rumors of “renting” downloaded tracks for a lifetime (instead of owning those tracks and having the ability to share music) have been circulating, and Amazon just may have its giant corporate finger on something exciting. Stay tuned for updates from Amazon.