Amazon's fledgling digital music efforts received a big boost today in its battle to take a bite out of Apple's iTunes store. Sony/BMG Music -- the last of the 4 major labels who previously had not made its tunes available to Amazon -- just agreed to license its tracks. And, importantly, all 4 major labels -- as well as a host of indies -- now make all of their music available in the unprotected, DRM-free MP3 format. This represents a culmination in the complete 180 degree turnaround of the major labels with respect to copy protection -- and also represents a boon to consumers, who can now go elsewhere to buy tunes for their iPods and other digital music players.
Steve Jobs said he wanted an open system for digital music and media. He now has it. And Amazon, given its sheer size, may be one of the best bets to upset the apple-cart. Though, the Amazon jungle will take time to overshadow Apple's efforts in the digital music game.