According to Amazon their vinyl record sales are up over 700% in the last 5 years. The company has combined the ability to order albums with the AutoRip feature, which entitles the user to an MP3 version of certain recordings and CD’s. Part of the revival of interest in this older technology is a crowd yearning for the music they grew up with. This ReadWrite article also points out the underlying benefits to Amazon of providing such varied content: they can keep customers connected through offering numerous digital options along with the physical books or albums. They can track purchases and tastes as well.
Looking for that special painting for your living room wall? – try Amazon’s new fine art site Amazon Art. Including more than 150 galleries and dealers from New York, Miami, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Canada, the site allows customers to purchase original art ranging from a “$10 screen print by the up-and-comer Ryan Humphrey to a $4.85 million painting by Norman Rockwell.” The current listings also include a $1.4 million painting by French impressionist Claude Monet called: “L’Enfant a la tasse, portrait de Jean Monet.” According to vice president for the Amazon Marketplace “Amazon Art gives galleries a way to bring their passion and expertise about the artists they represent to our millions of customers”, But not all gallery owners are flocking to sign up. Patricia Bransten, director of one of San Francisco’s most respected galleries said that “unlike books or wine, people like to look at art in person before they buy it.” Check out these articles from the NYT and NPR, as well as customer comments on the Monet painting: “Is there a Kindle edition available,” asked one reviewer; Pros include “Looks good above my toilet” and “Fast shipping,”
In response to Amazon’s continued push for a more dominant presence in the bookselling market, Barnes and Noble has decided not to carry their books unless they have the right to sell Amazon’s e-books. According to BN, “Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content.” I’ve seen a few articles discussing the decision, but not much in the way of analysis to understand its repercussions.