Digital music business & DRM

Today Amazon announced the launch of their music download service. It is aggressively priced to compete with Apple itune and it is DRM free.

From FT:

Amazon is the largest online seller of physical CDs. Its new downloads will be “DRM free”, meaning that they can be accessed by both iPod and MP3 players, and be easily copied or burnt on to users’ CDs.

Certainly DRM free music/content is the best option for consumers that want to play their music/video on their devices without being constraint by the specific device, OS or platform. And in case the service where you bought the music/content closes, you could risk to lose your music and videos. This has happened when Google had stopped to sell their DRM-protected videos. Additionally, Sony has closed its digital music stored based on proprietary format and will open its portable media players to other formats.

And the trend shows that:

Comments from:

Internet Platforms

Interesting post by Marc Andreessen in his blog about Internet platforms or The three kinds of platforms you meet on the Internet.

Platform is an overloaded word nowadays. He gives this definition of platform first:

A “platform” is a system that can be programmed and therefore customized by outside developers — users — and in that way, adapted to countless needs and niches that the platform’s original developers could not have possibly contemplated, much less had time to accommodate.

Marc goes on and describes three different levels of Internet platform, in short:

  • A Level 1 platform’s apps run elsewhere, and call into the platform via a web services API to draw on data and services — this is how Flickr does it.
  • A Level 2 platform’s apps run elsewhere, but inject functionality into the platform via a plug-in API — this is how Facebook does it. Most likely, a Level 2 platform’s apps also call into the platform via a web services API to draw on data and services.
  • A Level 3 platform’s apps run inside the platform itself — the platform provides the “runtime environment” within which the app’s code runs. Examples are, Ning, Second Life.

The Level 3 platform is the interesting one by making a new range of applications and development possible.

Since I do not want to rewrite his text, read more from his post…