Is there any stopping Amazon(s amzn)? The company has just introduced yet another retail game-changer with “Auto-Rip,” a new service that gives customers a free online version of any album they buy — or have bought on Amazon in the last 15 years. You can look at it as a two-for-one package deal on any music you buy.
Auto-Rip will appeal to people who like owning music in a physical form. It will also provide a relatively painless introduction for anyone who doesn’t use digital music services or hasn’t tried out Amazon’s Cloud Player. Anyone who has bought a CD from Amazon in the past will find the music right there when they go to Cloud Player. Those who haven’t used the player will get an email explaining how to get it. Here’s an image from the Auto-Rip website which has videos on how it works:
According to All Things D, Amazon has received permission from the music industry to provide most popular artists, including names like Adele and Pink Floyd.
“Auto-Rip” could also help Amazon emerge as a major music competitor to Apple(s aapl) and Google(s goog) which also offer cloud-based services, or music lockers, in the form of iTunes Match and Google Play.
The move is also smart because Amazon has, in one easy swoop, figured out how to satisfy consumers’ desire to own the content they bought in physical and digital form. The movie industry has been struggling to provide a movie cloud with the “UltraViolet” service which lets users watch online if they register a DVD version; uptake has been slow, however, as consumers have found the process cumbersome.