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Amazon hopes to one-up iTunes with 69-cent hit songs

updated 02:25 pm EDT, Fri April 29, 2011

Amazon drops current hits to 69 cents in rivalry

Amazon possibly raised the stakes in US music on Friday with a major shift in its 69-cent section in Amazon MP3. Instead of selling mostly older or niche songs, the store is currently selling songs that are or were very recently hits, including singles from Dr. Dre and Talib Kweli. No signs existed that it was a temporary sale.

The shop is known to regularly offer daily or weekly deals priced well under their prices everywhere else, such as for classical compilations or new albums. None of these have been permanent, however, and they rarely go beyond individual artists.

It's believed that Amazon may be hoping to escape a rut in digital music as well as draw attention to its cloud service. For the past few years, Apple has had 70 percent of download music sales where Amazon MP3 has stayed stuck between 10 and 12 percent. The sale could also help spur on use of Cloud Drive and Cloud Player since every song is already considered backed up for Internet streaming and doesn't count against the storage cap.

Apple hasn't responded to the price drops in iTunes but could suffer if the price drops weren't part of a larger agreement. Music labels' insistence on variable pricing in return for DRM-free music led to many pop songs costing $1.29 each, well over what Amazon has been promising. If voluntarily from the labels, it could either signal price drops to fuel stalling music sales across the board or else an attempt to boost Amazon as a major alternative to iTunes. [via LA Times]

by MacNN Staff



  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Now this will make Apple's portable music players less attractive compared to the Amazon portable music player.

  1. chas_m




    to last. The record companies are experimenting on us, at best, but they won't settle for 69 cents for very long.

    If Amazon's whole setup and purchase routine wasn't such a hassle, I'd buy more music from them, but it is, so I don't. Of course this sale might be worth checking into, but only if they're going to make purchasing MP3s as simple as, say, the Mac App Store.

    Otherwise, the superior AAC 256kbps encoding and ease of use of the iTunes Store still wins out for me.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I think that Amazon is trying to make those

    new Android PMP players from various companies more attractive to users. Obviously Amazon wants to leverage Android to get a leg up on Apple. I'm wondering at what point Amazon is going to start selling their own hardware beyond the Kindle. Amazon is apparently going to keep extending their neck further and further into Apple territory if it introduces an Amazon-branded iPad competitor into the mix. Unfortunately, Apple can't retaliate directly since Apple sure isn't going to online product sales. Apple will merely have to continue what it is doing by selling the c*** out of its products around the world. Apple should be able to keep its hardware powerful and well integrated iOS platform. Amazon will have to rely on Android Honeycomb and that could be a problem. Amazon is going to try to beat Apple in content and pricing and certainly will get more Android users leaning towards a decent Amazon ecosystem.

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