AfterDawn: Tech news

Amazon becomes iTunes' biggest competitor for digital downloads

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 26 Mar 2008 8:57 User comments (9)

Amazon becomes iTunes' biggest competitor for digital downloads After launching a music service six months ago that only offers digital audio downloads without Digital Rights Management (DRM), Amazon has taken the No. 2 spot in sales after Apple Inc.'s iTunes. Last year, Apple and EMI announced a ground-breaking deal to sell digital music downloads without digital rights management (DRM) technology.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs had predicted that by the end of 2007, half of the iTunes catalog would be DRM-free. However, that simply didn't happen because Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group opted to sell DRM-free downloads through Amazon's service instead.

As it stands, iTunes offers about 2 million DRM-free songs from EMI and independent record companies, while Amazon has 4.5 million DRM-free downloads to offer. A situation such as this was to be expected however as many record industry figures loathe the control that Apple has over the market for digital downloads.

"Amazon's arrival removed some of the stranglehold iTunes had on the market," says Ted Cohen, a former EMI Music executive and managing partner of the Tag Strategic consulting firm. Pete Baltaxe, Amazon's director of digital music said that customers have sent a lot of positive feedback about the lack of DRM restrictions on the music sold.

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9 user comments

126.3.2008 9:20

Quote:
Amazon's director of digital music said that customers have sent a lot of positive feedback about the lack of DRM restrictions on the music sold.

Well, duh!

Who wouldn't be more inclined to legally purchase and download music without the crippling DRM?

iTunes is gonna have to play catch up by getting rid of DRM if they want to maintain their position in the emusic marketplace.

226.3.2008 10:11

Quote:

iTunes is gonna have to play catch up by getting rid of DRM if they want to maintain their position in the emusic marketplace.
As long as iTunes is the only legal emusic store with an extensive catalog available outside US they are not in a hurry. It's the only store coming even close to a global actor in the field -- with or without drm. And the labels know this. For instance, when is Amazon opening mp3 sales in Europe, "during 2008", still not even approximate dates?

326.3.2008 10:47

people buy music?

426.3.2008 11:18
mikecUSA
Inactive

Wait, is tis article actually saying that Amazon has a wider and deeper catalog than I-Tunes?

As in I-Tunes only has 2 million songs and Amazon has 4.5 million?

526.3.2008 11:21
mikecUSA
Inactive

Oh wait, the author should add the words DRM to the sentence about EMI and independent labels. As in, "It has 2 million DRM free songs from EMI and Independent labels".

626.3.2008 14:45

Originally posted by mikecUSA:
Oh wait, the author should add the words DRM to the sentence about EMI and independent labels. As in, "It has 2 million DRM free songs from EMI and Independent labels".
Done. Thanks, I never noticed that!

726.3.2008 16:50

So the labels are using Amazon as leverage against Apple, because Apple understands the music industry is changing more than the labels do? Is that why the labels won't let Apple remove DRM on it's catalog? So Apple loses market share to a competitor, because it can't sell music that will work on an MP3 player outside of an iPod? That sounds like a lawsuit in the wings waiting to happen!

826.3.2008 16:58
mikecUSA
Inactive

I totally agree with SProdigy. I like Apple and hate to see them get screwed like this. I enjoy my ipod way better than I ever enjoyed my Sony Walkman Cassette player.

927.3.2008 21:02

I'm surprised at the money itunes makes just from selling music. I mean im sure many people find it easier and quicker to download a song off software like limewire. I dont understand why people are actually willing to pay 1 per song when you can get the same track for free without any form of copy protection, and often download music that is not even available on things like itunes. I agree that some people may find this morally wrong, but i think that it would be better to donate the money that you would have paid for the actual track to a needy cause such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa rather than line the pockets of the already filthy rich popstars who are gonna blow the money on a lavish lifestyle with expensive cars, mansions and drugs, just take a look at Amy Winehouse for reference.

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