Category: Amazon

Medialoper’s 2008 Ducking The Shoe Awards

George Bush ducking the shoe.“Ducking the Shoe” is a phrase coined by Daniel Fienberg a couple of days ago on Twitter to mean “escaping even the most minor of punishments for extended errors or misdeeds.”

Well, yeah.

So in the spirit of George W. Bush’s ninja-like ability to duck a shoe thrown at him from point blank range, the following people and things spent 2008 getting away with shit that they really should have been busted on.

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My Beer with Bezos — The Shocking Truth About The Kindle

It was the night before SXSW 2008 kicked off, and Kassia Krozser, Erik Hersman, and I were hanging out at the pre-party at the Six Lounge in Austin. Erik was explaining that the guy in the corner who looked remarkably like Jeff Bezos, actually was Jeff Bezos.

The truth is, there are a lot of guys at SXSW who look like Jeff Bezos. That might be why Bezos wasn’t attracting much attention. He blended seamlessly with the crowd of Web 2.0 geeks, and he looked absolutely in his element.

Eventually, word got out and a small but disorganized receiving line began to form around Bezos. Partygoers were eager to approach him for an autograph or photo op, but everyone seemed to be cautions about making too big a deal about it.

At some point, I realized that we were being sucked into the Bezos Vortex and were actually in line to meet the man. I remember thinking that it was not unlike waiting in line to meet Santa Claus, but better, because Amazon already has my wish list on file. I was certain that when I introduced myself, Bezos would shake my hand and say, “Yes Kirk, you’ll be getting that plasma TV for Christmas. As long as you remember to take out the trash and clean your room.”

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How The Music Industry Garnered Record Profits in 2008

With Chinese Democracy topping 1.5 million in CD sales and downloads in its second week — for a two-week total of 5 million, the best ever — it is now official: the American Music Industry has never been healthier. Even in what is easily the most crippling recession most of us have seen in our lifetimes, people are buying music at a record pace.

How have they done it? According to Frederick Stamphammer, the RIAA’s Vice-President of Digitization — and the man seen by most insiders as the key figure behind the transformation of the music industry into a virtual profit machine — it was by seizing the opportunity afforded by the internet nearly 10 years ago.

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Waiting for Google’s Kindle Killer

During an onstage interview with Chris Anderson at this year’s BEA, Jeff Bezos described his vision of a world where any book ever published would be available anywhere, at any time. At the time it seemed like one of those distant fantasies that might be decades away. Bezos acknowledged that there was a lot of work to be done before that vision would ever become a reality. Little did he know at the time…

With the Google Book Search agreement Bezos’ vision has come much closer to being a reality. The problem for Bezos is that he was hoping that vision would be realized through the Kindle. While the Kindle promises to put a whole bookstore in the palm of your hand, a Google powered reader could put the Library of Congress in the palm of your hand.

Kindle’s 190,000 available titles pale in comparison to the millions of titles Google has just been granted access to. But Amazon still holds a couple of obvious advantages over Google: (more…)

Why I Won’t Miss iTunes

So here’s the deal: The National Music Publisher’s Association has said that they want to increase the royalty rate for each legal download from $0.09 to $0.15 per song. Apple has responded by threatening to shut down iTunes.

I assume that “iTunes” means “iTunes Music Store,” and this has nothing to do the the TV Shows, Films and Applications that also go through iTunes, because, well, that would just be stupid.

I’m not here to argue the merits of what one side will say is only a six cent increase and the other side will say is a 66% increase, nor am I going to point out that this is Apple’s way of saying that if they don’t continue to get exactly what they want, they’re going to take their ball and go home.

But I will say this: if the iTunes Music Store went away tomorrow, it wouldn’t even be a blip on my radar.

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