Amazon is launching a new service called ‘Auto-Rip’ which will give customers a free MP3 digital copy of CDs they have ever purchased, or will purchase in the future. Users will be informed that music they have bought in the past is already there, waiting for them in the cloud.
The service will sadly at present only apply in the US. It initially covers about 50,000 albums so far including new ones from Adele, and timeless classics like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
The idea is that customers are getting a two-for-one deal on music, but when people can put a CD into iTunes and digitise it in minutes, the vagaries of format shifting laws accepted, this doesn’t seem to have huge appeal.
PaidContent reports that the movie equivalent of this service UltraViolet “lets users watch online if they register a DVD version,” but that “uptake has been slow, however, as consumers have found the process cumbersome”. No doubt users will find the integrated, automated, nature of the service more appealing.
Amazon are also clearly showing an understanding of people’s continuing desire to collect and own physical products, as well as have integrated cloud entertainment systems. Steve Boom, Amazon’s VP of digital music told All Things D:
“A lot of people still like physical music — in fact, it represents 50 percent of the industry’s revenue,” Boom said. “There are people who like to collect, or they like the fidelity, or they like to put it in their car. ”
Boom also believes that such a move may help increase CD sales, presumably because if people want an album and may normally have only bought the digital version, they may now go for the hard-copy too.
Auto-rip is clearly Amazon’s response to its rivals moves into the digital music locker space, and is designed to challenged iTunes Match and Google Play. Furthermore, it is also part of Amazon’s agenda to be a one stop shop for your entertainment and media, with Auto-Rip fitting in with services like Amazon Prime, and the growing popularity of Kindle devices.