And it ain’t who you think it is. According to a story posted on Digg, Amazon is allowing customers to download some artists’ music for free as MP3’s. The original post states, “Here are some pretty good downloads that amazon gives away each week free mp3 downloads from The Strokes; The Pornographers ; The Hives and so many more.” Clearly, Amazon has seen the enemy, and it’s MySpace. In the future of commerce on the web (and, to some degree, its past), who you compete with isn’t the same folks you always thought it was. File-sharing (swapping, piracy, whatever) scared the content producers and now social networking sites might be scaring the online retailers. Looks like we’re getting back in the “sticky eyeball” business of the boom days, with the sites that can draw traffic getting lots of play (see Barry Diller’s recent gobbling up of MySpace for a half-billion dollars).
Back in the boom days, people talked about the concept of “getting Amazon’ed,” where an online upstart would come along and pull the rug out from under an established (offline) player. Seems Amazon is getting worried about getting a taste of its own medicine and is looking for ways to avoid “getting MySpace’d.”