Amazon announces its new Content Distribution Network: Cloudfront. This allows their ‘pay as you go’ web services to be even more widely and efficiently distributed, see a helpful blog at allthingsdistributed. Think of your content as being distributed in the higher reaches of the atmosphere accessible to all, from the cirrus layer. Cirrus clouds being those “which may appear as delicate white filaments, featherlike tufts, or fibrous bands of ice crystals.” Cloudnomenclature.

Media will benefit from this distribution of all content through the cloud, perhaps more than we can yet appreciate. When all music, print and video is available in the cloud and available to myriad devices at negligible cost to anyone we will all indulge in this cultural diversity, this trivial availability. Cloud-based access will encourage the already strong trend towards very simple and light-weight electronic and digital devices which can provide access to media.

The Amazon cloud sets admirable standards of transparency and simplicity in its pricing. In their words “Amazon CloudFront passes on the benefits of Amazon’s scale to you. You pay only for the content that you deliver through the network, without minimum commitments or up-front fees.” They provide a simple calculator from which you can predict the cost of your requirement [storage, data-in, data-out, put requests etc]. The whole system is so elegant and straightforward that I am inclined to draw unfavourable comparisons with the hugely convoluted, and complex access system and pricing models envisaged for Google Book Search (foreshadowed in the agreement and Registry). Will books really be encumbered by such a bizarre and fragmented pricing and rights management solution? I suspect that the Google proposition may yet be subverted by something much simpler.