With the announcement of Amazon’s new Cloud Player iPhone app, the Universal Music Catalog is one step closer. For years I have dreamed of this Star Trek-like device, where I can find any song I want and listen to it, from anywhere. Preferably this will be an app on a device I already own (smartphone), rather than a new iPod or something.
Though, I would buy an iPod that had the Universal Music Catalog on it.
You may be skeptical but let’s work through this.
First, all three major online music retailers, Apple/Amazon/Google, give you the ability to upload thousands of songs to their cloud for free or at nominal costs. Which means that each of them has the most massive music catalog you can possibly imagine. They also highly promote the “matching” ability of these mega-drives, which means that they probably already have the song you’re uploading so don’t worry, you can just use their copy.
But, if they don’t have your song then they will store a copy on their drive, a brilliant way to continue growing their catalog.
Second, the details here are awesome. Amazon just announced that if you pay $20/year you have unlimited storage space for music. Google offers space for 20,000 songs for free and Apple is charging $25/year for storage of 25,000 songs. This even includes those mixtapes you’ve been carrying around, rare CD’s, and even live recordings.
Yeah, the piracy debate is dead in the water here. Theoretically, one person could pirate 20,000 songs and then upload them to Google for free, with forever storage.
The number 2 grocery chain in South Korea, Home Plus, is looking to improve sales through innovation. They have created a virtual store offering “500 items including food, electronics, office supplies and toiletries.”
The store is at an underground subway station in Seolleung, located in the south of Seoul, South Korea, a city of 10 million people. It takes up seven pillars in the stations and six walls. On it are life size pictures of items in a real store.
Next to each item is a small barcode, actually a QR code. Shoppers use their smartphone and a downloadable app to scan and make purchases.
The order is then sent to the store closest to the shoppers home and a delivery truck completes the order. Dropping off a box of groceries at your front door.
it’s very similar to shopping on Amazon or using Peapod, but represents one of the first successful physical stores for an online service.
Taken from Amusing Planet, where they also have a video introducing the concept.
Thx to Stacie Dauffenbach
Selling consumer electronics isn’t as easy as it used to be for Best Buy. The big-box retailer is closing 50 stores and compensating employees based on customer service after its fiscal fourth-quarter sales fell short of expectations.
The company today reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of $1.7 billion, on revenue of $16.63 billion, up 3 percent from a year ago.
Best Buy’s problem: Amazon. Best Buy has been trying to grow its e-commerce business to compete better, but the big-box approach to selling consumer electronics isn’t what it used to be. That reality has Best Buy thinking small.
The company outlined the following moves:
- It will cut $800 million in costs by fiscal 2015.
- Close 50 big-box stores this fiscal year.
- Open 100 Best Buy Mobile and small stores this year.
- Boost online revenue by 15 percent.
- And Best Buy will change its employee compensation model to revolve around customer service and business goals.
“The company is gradually becoming a physical showroom for online retailers,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.
via c|net – Business Tech
The company is also closing 11 stores in the UK, and:
As part of the plan to fix its troubles in Europe, Best Buy says that it will bring its “Wireless World” experience to some of the 2,500 small box mobility stores it currently operates in Europe.
via c|net – The Digital Home
// Photos via Kevin Dooley & MJ/TR