Amazon to carry Sony’s DRM-free MP3s


AMAZON MP3With the new partnership between major music label Sony BMG and online retail giant Amazon.com, music fanatics can download the songs of Justin Timberlake, Santana, Bruce Springsteen and many other famous artists at Amazon MP3 starting next month.

This is a very significant milestone because Amazon MP3 becomes the online music retailer to carry all four major labels as well as more than 33,000 independent labels. Now, the war is on against the dominant market leader, Apple’s iTunes.

This partnership is part of a bigger effort to loosen the tight grip of iTunes in this industry. Selling more than 3 billion songs since its inception, the iTunes online retail store dictates pricing and distribution. Major music labels see Amazon MP3 as the tool to neutralize the leverage of iTunes and regain control of the industry.

The main difference is that songs downloaded from Amazon MP3 are compatible with PCs, iPod, BlackBerry, iPhone, Zune, Zen and almost all music-capable devices. Conversely, songs downloaded via iTunes are playable only on Apple devices.

In terms of pricing, most songs in Amazon MP3 cost from 89 cents to 99 cents, giving music labels some flexibility to charge whatever they deem reasonable. On the other hand, iTunes maintains a parity pricing of 99 cents per song.

Read [BusinessWire]

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