• Amazon attempt to rival iTunes worldwide
  • Amazon attempt to rival iTunes worldwide
    Written by battye
    Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:29 am

    Amazon have announced that their online music service will be rolled out internationally some time in 2008. Their service, Amazon MP3, sells only DRM-free music from each of the big four labels - EMI, Universal, Sony BMG and Warner.

    There is some confusion over what Amazon mean by international. Using iTunes as an example, an Australian user can only purchase music from iTunes Australia, not iTunes USA and vice versa. The international restrictions are a hassle for many users. If Amazon were able to find a way around this, coupled with a database free of DRM music, they could see a huge slice of the market share come their way from iTunes.

    Having said that, iTunes has already established itself and is the first service to come to mind when someone thinks about purchasing music. It will be hard to topple the online music giant, and what iTunes will continue to have in its favour is the iPod factor. As it stands, a user can connect their iPod to their computer, purchase a song from iTunes, and the track will automatically be synced to their music player. Users purchasing from Amazon will have to go through a few more steps to transfer the track to their iPod - not many, but enough to make people think twice about whether it is worth it.

    There is also a loyalty factor. Unless the songs are considerably cheaper, if iTunes has served a user well, why change? In the US, tracks sell for between $0.89 and $0.99 on Amazon MP3. All tracks are $0.99 on iTunes USA. Abroad though, I'll use iTunes Australia as an example, tracks sell for AUD$1.69 - which is extortionate really. At the prevailing rate, US$0.99 is equivalent to AUD$1.13. Should Amazon MP3 make their pricing consistent across every country, they could impress international users and ruffle a few feathers at Apple.

    Amazon have not announced when the international store will be rolled out this year.
  • Article search