A while back I told you about the best-yet-chance-of-outdoing-iTunes approach Google Music is taking to the music business. It’s almost becoming a theme; Google+ is better than Facebook, and although Google+ isn’t mature yet, it’s a great example of Google making better stuff than their competitors in key markets.
Amazon is doing their best to get into new businesses, too. The Amazon Cloud puts the retail giant into cloud storage in a way that has to impress any student of business change, and although Amazon Cloud Music felt a bit under-cooked when Amazon got together with Lady Gaga, Amazon’s cloud plans are starting to look smarter.
Last week, Amazon announced a small tweak to their cloud music player that should cost them nothing and makes them more attractive. I’m still seeing Google Music as the best-yet offering in the space, but … business change comes in baby steps.
Now, you can store as much music as you have in the Amazon Cloud. For free. You still have to buy your way in ($20 per year as as opposed to “free so far” at Google Music), but that’s it; with your paid plan in the Amazon Cloud storage of your music and streaming it cost nothing.
Now for sure there are some gotchas. $20 a year against Google’s free is kind of a wash against Google’s 20,000 song limit versus Amazon’s no-limit policy, but if you read Amazon’s terms of service you can’t help but feel as though Amazon is setting you up for the day when they tell you that you’re going to have to pay to store music you didn’t buy from them. And wait: come to think of it, almoat nobody has a music collection that exceeds 20,000 songs, so is Amazon really offering anything by calling their music storage “unlimited”?
Here’s what matters:
Amazon is showing their nimbleness, and willingness to embrace business change as a way of life. It reminds me of when Amazon bought the very hip Woot! and allowed their new toy to stay hip instead of trying to Amazon-ize it.
Pick Google Music, pick Amazon Cloud, pick someone else. Just watch out for what happens to your wireless phone bill when you use any of these streaming services.