How Google & Amazon Hurt Recorded Music By Launching Cloud Lockers
The launch of Google Music and Amazon's Cloud Music Locker without licenses (and in Google's case without a download store) represents a real setback for the recorded music industry. I'm not one who believes that Google and Amazon should need licenses to create the kind of online hard drives that they did. But the result are cumbersome, only compatible with select operating systems and lacking many of the features that excite music fans while encouraging discovery and purchase.
Sadly, many fans will try one of these new lockers, be disappointed and decide that music in the cloud is not for them. Given all the options that cloud music makes possible, that's a major setback in ongoing efforts to encourage consumers to believe again that music is worth paying for, whether as streams or downloads.
Just as importantly, Google and Amazon are playing into Apple's hand. By waiting to cut deals with the labels and likely by accepting some restrictions, Apple can launch a cloud music competitor with features that encourages users to stay within their closed eco-system of devices, applications and stores. - Bruce Hougthon