The entertainment world is buzzing this week that Amazon will open a music outfit to rival Apple, but the retailing has been moving into new ways of selling digital content for a while.
Last year, the company relatively quietly bought CustomFlix.com. CustomFlix signs deals with obscure and/or small film producers and distributors--We have one of Croatia's finest films in a decade--and then offers the films to Amazon's customer base. CustomFlix doesn't burn the movie onto a disc until a customer orders it.
"It's perfect for the long tail," said Greg Hart, director, North American Music, DVD, Computer and Video Games and Software, Amazon.com, during a cocktail party at CES earlier this year.
Hart said that the company is also looking at a similar service for music at that time. Amazon, however, does not overtly tout the connection between itself and CustomFlix.
With CustomFlix, Amazon isn't selling digital files of movies, but it is moving one step closer to acting as a content provider. It's not just selling prepackaged discs from the artists.