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Amazon to fill Apple's shoes in Pepsi Super Bowl song promo?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
A symbolic changing of the guard may take place February 3rd when Amazon borrows Apple's strategy and launches a song giveaway promotion during the 2008 Super Bowl, according to a claim by Billboard.

The music chart producer cites sources who allege that the plan will not be a direct copy of Apple's 2004 promotion, which randomly placed free song codes on bottle caps and let winners have free reign over their choice of songs. Both contests, however, will have offered as many as one billion songs before they expire.

Instead, entrants are guaranteed a free song but will have to collect five caps before they can be redeemed at Amazon's web-based MP3 store. Winners may also be locked out of redeeming music from certain labels: some record producers are purportedly balking at the low royalty rates that Amazon is negotiating for the one-off event, which would return only 40 cents to the labels versus the 65 cents for regular sales or 70 cents from iTunes, the insiders say.

The payment structure between Amazon and Pepsi is also unclear. For the iTunes promotion, Pepsi compensated Apple directly for at least some of the cost of every redeemed song.

Even so, the deal is said to represent a watershed moment for Amazon's fledgling digital download store, which Billboard reports has gained momentum since its tentative debut in late September. Amazon now holds 3 percent of download-only music sales in the US, which is still small compared to the 70 percent of iTunes but eclipses several of the online retailer's other competitors. Apple's Super Bowl promotion is considered by many to have been instrumental to the long-term success of the iTunes service and the iPod.

A large part of the appeal behind the Amazon store is believed to be a strict policy of carrying only unprotected MP3s, which allows virtually any software or digital music player to play purchased tracks. The company is also one of the few to embrace iTunes and has developed a conduit program for Macs and Windows PCs that feeds purchases directly into the Apple software.

This decision, and its link to the Super Bowl promotion in particular, are also exerting an influence on hold-out labels that until now have insisted on digital rights management (DRM) lockdowns for their songs, Billboard's tipsters claim. If true, Universal is now poised to sell DRM-free tracks on a permanent basis following a trial that ends in January, while Sony BMG and even the staunchly pro-DRM Warner Music Group are supposedly reconsidering their stances on unrestricted formats.

Whether Sony BMG, Universal, and Warner will extend this policy to iTunes is uncertain from the Billboard report. Universal has in recent months been deliberately confrontational with Apple in an attempt to force more favorable pricing, opting out of long-term iTunes contracts and excluding the Cupertino, California-based firm's digital store from its non-DRM song trial.
post #2 of 14
What people do not realize about Amazon is that it is not a company with diversity in its personnel. And they do not believe that they need to acknowledge diversity as they are internet driven. Do not take my word on this study the facts for yourself.

Apple will still dominate the music download world. Apple creativity far exceeds anything Amazon could even remotely dream of.
post #3 of 14
"Apple's strategy" of giveaway promotions during the Super Bowl?

Apple invents EVERYTHING!
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #4 of 14
I've used both services and there's something to be said for each, but obviously Apple's tight integration between iTunes and iPod will continue to give them a massive advantage... at least until the Kindle can hook up directly to an iPod dock. I'm kidding... but just about the Kindle.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

What people do not realize about Amazon is that it is not a company with diversity in its personnel. And they do not believe that they need to acknowledge diversity as they are internet driven. Do not take my word on this study the facts for yourself.

Apple will still dominate the music download world. Apple creativity far exceeds anything Amazon could even remotely dream of.

I have no clue what you're talking about or what it has to do with the article. But at least you got to beat everyone else to repeating the "If it's not Apple, it's crap" mantra that comes along with anything that competes against Apple. Congratulations on that.

What exactly is so inventive about the iTunes Store? The fact that it's a web page in a dedicated media player program? A confusing two-tier music scheme (iTunes Plus) that hasn't managed to add any major labels since inception (nor are all of EMI's artists available DRM-free like Depeche Mode who are an EMI artist but published through Warner in the US)?

Perhaps I should mention ways that Amazon outclasses Apple:

1) Unbox-TiVo partnership - Far more compelling to own a TiVo unit than Apple's headless iPod, AppleTV. Plus, you can actually rent movies or purchase movies or TV shows directly from the TiVo box instead of Apple's insistence on making you head over to the computer to do that.

2) Unbox TV subscriptions - Unlike Apple's Season Pass, you only pay for the shows that are currently available. And you then pay for new shows as they become available. This means that you don't end up paying $40.00 for 12 episodes ($24.00 in actual cost), have it go on the mid-season break for 3 months and then finally get the remainder of the season. Or like the poor saps that subscribed to the Season Pass of the remastered Star Trek who waited months after iTunes stalled at episode 11 (although it seems Apple has scrubbed all those complaints from the reviews). And also unlike Apple's Season Pass, you cancel at any time which provides you the ability to try a show without commitment.

2) Unbox and web access - You can purchase Unbox content from any computer that can access Amazon.com and have it downloaded to the (Windows) PC or TiVo unit of your choice.

3) Album-Only Tracks: Amazon's mp3 service does not have albums where certain tracks are album only. On Amazon, either the entire album must be purchased, or EVERY song is available individually (although long tracks may have a higher price). iTunes inconsistency on this point is frustrating (for example, iTunes has Alanis Morrissette's Wunderkind from the "Chronicles of Narnia" soundtrack but it is one of the few album-only tracks).

4) Amazon's Cheaper Prices: 89 cents for many tracks versus 99 cents for iTunes tracks. Not rocket science to figure why this is nice. Likewise, Amazon is often cheaper on full albums (for example, The Killer's "Sawdust" album is $7.99 on Amazon mp3 versus $11.99 at iTunes).

Point is, they both have their strengths and their weaknesses.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

What people do not realize about Amazon is that it is not a company with diversity in its personnel. And they do not believe that they need to acknowledge diversity as they are internet driven. Do not take my word on this study the facts for yourself.

I wouldn't even know where to begin looking for these alleged facts.
post #7 of 14
I know a lot of you will consider this pedantic, but I like to think of it as a learning opportunity. The phrase the article's author wanted is "free rein". That refers to letting your horse go where it wants (or even stand still) as opposed to directing its movement via the reins.

/The more you know...

Oh, and Pepsi-based promotions will not reach me. Pepsi is the Fop to my Dapper Dan.
post #8 of 14
Wait, so I have to collect 5 caps to get a free song? Damn, that is a bummer.
With Apple it was essentially 3 caps because 1 in 3 won.

Plus I bet I have to type in 5 codes now to get one song... lame.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post

Wait, so I have to collect 5 caps to get a free song? Damn, that is a bummer.
With Apple it was essentially 3 caps because 1 in 3 won.

Plus I bet I have to type in 5 codes now to get one song... lame.

The "one in three" system was too easily abused though, it wasn't that hard to see if it was a winning bottle, even if the text isn't readable through the plastic.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

I have no clue what you're talking about or what it has to do with the article. But at least you got to beat everyone else to repeating the "If it's not Apple, it's crap" mantra that comes along with anything that competes against Apple. Congratulations on that.

What exactly is so inventive about the iTunes Store? The fact that it's a web page in a dedicated media player program? A confusing two-tier music scheme (iTunes Plus) that hasn't managed to add any major labels since inception (nor are all of EMI's artists available DRM-free like Depeche Mode who are an EMI artist but published through Warner in the US)?

Perhaps I should mention ways that Amazon outclasses Apple:

1) Unbox-TiVo partnership - Far more compelling to own a TiVo unit than Apple's headless iPod, AppleTV. Plus, you can actually rent movies or purchase movies or TV shows directly from the TiVo box instead of Apple's insistence on making you head over to the computer to do that.

2) Unbox TV subscriptions - Unlike Apple's Season Pass, you only pay for the shows that are currently available. And you then pay for new shows as they become available. This means that you don't end up paying $40.00 for 12 episodes ($24.00 in actual cost), have it go on the mid-season break for 3 months and then finally get the remainder of the season. Or like the poor saps that subscribed to the Season Pass of the remastered Star Trek who waited months after iTunes stalled at episode 11 (although it seems Apple has scrubbed all those complaints from the reviews). And also unlike Apple's Season Pass, you cancel at any time which provides you the ability to try a show without commitment.

2) Unbox and web access - You can purchase Unbox content from any computer that can access Amazon.com and have it downloaded to the (Windows) PC or TiVo unit of your choice.

3) Album-Only Tracks: Amazon's mp3 service does not have albums where certain tracks are album only. On Amazon, either the entire album must be purchased, or EVERY song is available individually (although long tracks may have a higher price). iTunes inconsistency on this point is frustrating (for example, iTunes has Alanis Morrissette's Wunderkind from the "Chronicles of Narnia" soundtrack but it is one of the few album-only tracks).

4) Amazon's Cheaper Prices: 89 cents for many tracks versus 99 cents for iTunes tracks. Not rocket science to figure why this is nice. Likewise, Amazon is often cheaper on full albums (for example, The Killer's "Sawdust" album is $7.99 on Amazon mp3 versus $11.99 at iTunes).

Point is, they both have their strengths and their weaknesses.

Perhaps it's his way to note that Amazon is a sweat shop since it's inception and they aren't a hub of intellectual creativity.

They are the Kings of Books, yet Overstock.com and Buy.com both are growing their base.

Amazon's work culture doesn't touch Apple's. If it claims to be like Apple or Google's culture they'd have a huge pile of ex employees who would be quite happy to see this for themselves as this was never the case.

Google and Apple are crowning jewels on Wall Street and within the IT Industry because the projects, personnel and cultures promote a diverse mix of minds and ideas.

This isn't a secret.

I've had several friends speak of their time at Amazon and never fondly.

It doesn't mean they haven't improved their culture over the years.

If Amazon were located in Cupertino and not Seattle it wouldn't be luring away people to work for them over Apple or Google, or IBM or Sun or many others.

It just happens to be a big name company in Seattle that isn't a failing startup founded by an ex-Microsoft employee who thinks they can be the next big thing. Outside of Microsoft and Amazon, the once thriving IT Industry in Seattle has seen many business names come and go. Sure there are plenty of lesser known names that offer specializations in traditional fields, but they aren't promising the once prized stock options and hefty bonuses.
post #11 of 14
mdriftmeyer: I still don't see what that has to do with the article...

My take on the article: A good thing. I'm not a fan of "AAC" and am a huge fan of high bitrate MP3s, which are my sole music purchase these days.

Amazon is offering songs cheaper and in a format even a DVD player can read (as well as mp3 discmen, mp3 players (duh), all computers, etc). I fail to see how this is a bad thing for consumers.
post #12 of 14
At least Amazon is compatible with all those iPods out there. (and any other player for that matter)

It could have been a Winblows Media format limited to Internutz Exploiter 7 only.

I see amazon as an ally, not an enemy.
post #13 of 14
I see them as a business, whose offerings offer greater appeal than their competitors.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The "one in three" system was too easily abused though, it wasn't that hard to see if it was a winning bottle, even if the text isn't readable through the plastic.

A. It is still worse as you have to buy more, not to mention type in 5 cryptic codes and the songs are 10¢ cheaper so essentially you are getting 'less' (lets not forget the 3 year gap between the 2)

B. To fix it the problem just make it so the caps look the same on the bottom, instead of 'you win' say 'you lose' and then fill out the line with the code with some other text. Or stop being so cheap and fill the bottle up more!
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