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Amazon will start DRM-free music download store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 16 May 2007 13:06 User comments (5)

Amazon will start DRM-free music download store Today, Amazon confirmed the long running rumor that it was starting a music download store to compete with Apple's iTunes. Amazon's new service will however be different than all its competitors and will only sell songs DRM-free.
Amazon said the new service will offer million of tracks from 12,000 record labels including EMI.

"Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "We're excited to have EMI joining us in this effort and look forward to offering our customers MP3s from amazing artists like Coldplay, Norah Jones and Joss Stone."

With Amazon putting weight behind the DRM-free movement it could persuade other major labels to follow in EMI's footsteps. Universal and Warner have already admitted they are testing unprotected music, but are afraid of piracy that can come about after the tracks are purchased.

Amazon has also chosen MP3 as the format of the tracks it is selling, which means music purchased at the Amazon store will be compatible with almost all digital media players. iTunes sells its tracks in Apple's AAC format which is only really compatible with the iPod and a few other players.

Some analysts still feel that with all those pros, it will not be enough to pose a serious challenge to the market share leader iTunes.

"If Amazon can offer a greater catalog than Apple at a lower price point or higher quality bit rates, we might begin to see iPod users begin to use the Amazon offering over iTunes but unless there's a marked differentiation, it's not likely that iPod users would go to Amazon over iTunes, especially given the iTunes eco system of music, TV shows, movies and games,"
remarked Jupiter Research vice president Michael Gartenberg.

Amazon did not state a specific date for the launch of its store but noted that it would be later this year.


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5 user comments

116.5.2007 14:56

Finally, a leader to step in the market with DRM-free music. I hope this will persuade other companies to try it out. I know that I will be switching to amazon the day it comes out.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 May 2007 @ 14:57

216.5.2007 14:56

*Rushes to be first in line* LOL!
I don't mind paying for songs if they're DRM free, like e-Music offers.

316.5.2007 19:13

I'd buy from them! or just get the cd as i do now

417.5.2007 19:00

This is music to consumers ears. It may not take over Itunes but it will take a big piece of the pie off them. People like to have flexibility with things that they purchase. Well done Amazon.

519.5.2007 7:33

Our voices are being heard! It is only a matter of time when all legal music purchases will be DRM free. All it took was a little Public Awareness.

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