Amazon Could Be Apple’s Next Foe
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by Jason Lopez
San Francisco, CA March 6, 2006 (PodTech News) — Amazon.com is reportedly creating a movie and television download service. Reuters, which relied on an unidentified source, says the online bookseller is negotiating with a number of Hollywood studios to partner in the venture. Apple is also reportedly ready to offer movie downloads.
Amazon is one of a handful of Internet-based firms which have been identified as possible candidates to deliver video content. Some experts believe that a few retail businesses are facets of platforms that companies have created. Amazon and Ebay can do much more than sell books or conduct auctions. They can handle VoIP traffic, media distribution and even on-demand enterprise software services.
Movie downloading has been problematic for users and for Hollywood. Movielink, a download service partly owned by Hollywood studios, has not been as successful as envisioned. The bandwidth and costs have limited the popularity of movie downloading. The video rental business has been influenced heavily by rent-by-mail NetFlix, which has been reluctant to move into online distribution. Still, NetFlix has been studying the movie download business.
Amazon could become a strong player. It already provides movie information over its IMDB.com website. Industry observers say it would be a natural extension for the bookseller to offer downloads of movies on IMDB. A deal with movie studios and television program providers is expected soon.