Google and Amazon Are Leaving Money on the Table

Today Google announced the launch of “Music Beta,” their cloud-based music service. While it is invite-only and I haven’t seen it first hand, I do know that it is not Apple-friendly. You may recall that Amazon excluded Apple devices some weeks back when they launched their music service in the cloud. I think both Google and Amazon are making huge errors in judgment and showing some shortsightedness.

First off, Apple owns the tablet, smartphone and music player markets. By excluding these devices from your service you are pushing away the majority of the marketplace that would otherwise use your service. The masses have been clamoring for this type of cloud-based service for years. Amazon and Google both beat Apple to market, why are they squandering that lead out of the gate by insisting their products use Flash?

Second, both Amazon and Google are missing the opportunity for early adopters to plant the flag in their platform. Any cloud service is going to require a user to upload their music collection to the cloud for the first time – that is no small undertaking. I have just under 12,000 songs in my library – that’s going to take days to upload all of them to a cloud-based service. If Amazon or Google had launched their services with an iPhone or iPad app, I would have pledged my allegiance and stuck with them. We all know that Apple is going to be rolling out their own service someday soon, but I believe that once people take the time to dump their music into the cloud for Amazon or Google, they’re not going to be bothered to do it again for Apple.

So, what the hell is really going on here? Is it solely about Adobe Flash? I honestly can’t wrap my head around why any company would exclude the majority of their potential customers right out of the gate. It makes absolutely no business sense to me. I’d love to pick your brains here and see what I must be missing. Please leave a comment below.

  • Jared Geesey

    Apple controls access to their platforms. I think that’s more the issue than anything else. They can’t do something this large with an app like interface without Apple’s involvement. I’m sure Apple would reject any app submissions anyway to do it on their own. Which means Amazon and Google don’t really have a choice then. (I suppose they could go the HTML 5 route possibly?)

    •  Jared,

      I understand that Apple controls their platform – but they’ve also let other services that compete with them have apps: i.e. Rhapsody and Rdio. Why shut out Google and Amazon? Plus, I think we would have heard about that in the tech press.

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