updated 09:15 am EST, Thu February 16, 2006
Amazon takes on iTunes
Internet retailer Amazon is prepping a digital music service (subscription required) to rival music ecosystem that it hopes will help it take on Apple's industry leading music player and music store. Amazon is advanced talks with the four global music companies about a digital-music service with a range of features designed to set it apart, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report says that it is working to develop its own branded portable media players that are specifically designed and built for the retailer as well as a "subscription service that would deeply discount and preload those devices with songs, not unlike mobile phones that are included with subscription plans as part of the deal." Music labels are hoping that Amazon's massive customer may base will help it succeed, in the face of Apple's virtual dominance of the digital market. The pending offering could jeapordize the status of Amazon as an Apple reseller who sells iPods and other Macs. Amazon sells about 10% of all digital music players in the U.S., according to the report.