There’s a lot of talk at the moment about whether / when Amazon will join the digital music (r)evolution. A reported 300 million dollars of R&D money has already been spent on their digital initiative and there is some disquiet in the investment community about whether Amazon will be able to upset the Apple cart. Amazon are undisputedly one of the sleeping giants of digital distribution. When they come to market they’ll be perfectly placed to attract a mainstream audience that is actually out of Apple’s reach.
Apple’s iTunes audience is primarily defined by those that have bought a digital media player which in turns makes them a combination of early adopters and techy savvy consumers. If digital distribution has any hope of breaking beyond the early adopter skew it must reach out to less-tech savvy customers. And don’t assume that tech-savvy and music fan inherently correlate. Early adopters of iTunes are just as likely to have technology as their driving adoption trend as they are music. In fact it remains to be proven whether iTunes buyers are actually that great as music customers. In order to test this question Jupiter is fielding a European consumer survey, so expect to see some potentially controversial findings this autumn. You’ll hear about them here first. Actually, the first place you’ll hear is on www.jupiterresearch.com, but you’ll get a teaser here!