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Amazon Beats Google, Apple to Cloud with Music

Saying phooey to record labels, Amazon launches Amazon Cloud Player for accessing content from any PC, Mac or Android device. Can you 'smell the lawsuits coming'?

Julie Jacobson · March 30, 2011

We knew that music was going to the cloud, but we didn’t know that Amazon would be the first major provider to offer such a service.

On Tuesday, the online retailer launched the Amazon Cloud


Player, providing 5GB of free storage (20GB if you buy an album) for music and other content. The service works with PCs, Macs and Android devices. (CORRECTION: Cloud Drive is simply the storage product, which is not unique; Cloud Player is the streaming mechanism for copy-protected music, which is unique among the serious players.)

How did Amazon beat Apple and Google to the cloud?

Analysts say Amazon plowed ahead without licensing agreements from record labels, while Apple and Google laboriously work their way through all of the legal pleasantries.

In an excellent article on the subject, CNN quotes a Sony Music spokeswoman who says the company is “disappointed that the ‘locker service’ that Amazon is proposing is unlicensed by Sony Music. We’re hoping that they will resolve the situation by moving to a licensed model. We are keeping our legal options open.”

CNN also offers insight from eMarketer analyst Paul Verna who says, “For Amazon to try to sidestep all of this, the consequences are a big question mark. ... It’s the first shot across the bow, which is refreshing, but you can smell the lawsuits coming.”

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

News · Amazon · Cloud · DRM · Google · Streaming Media · All Topics
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