Amazon MP3 Service Going Global; Epic iTunes Battle on the Horizon

Illustration for article titled Amazon MP3 Service Going Global; Epic iTunes Battle on the Horizon

Amazon's digital music catalogue is all set to go global, and although a launch date has not yet been settled, it shall hit sometime this year. Given Amazon MP3 offers DRM-free tracks, which are generally cheaper than iTunes limited, equivalent offerings, we cannot help but think an epic battle between the big As is all set to take off.

Amazon MP3 has the only digital music catalogue that offers DRM-free tunes from all four major labels, with around 3.3 million tracks in the library, they are packing some weight. If that fact doesn't have Apple quaking in their boots, the competitive pricing should. We couldn't care less how Amazon and Apple get down and dirty, but as they are bound to be set for a fight, teeth gnashing and all, it can only mean good things for customers. DRM-free music will have a bigger global presence, and that should solidify its worth in the consumer market. Also, the ensuing price war is not going to be too bad either. After all, iTunes surely cannot keep their offerings priced above the competition, whilst simultaneously offering DRM gimped and comparatively expensive ($1.29), DRM-free tracks. It's about to get interesting—watch this space. [Amazon]

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What I don't understand is the inability, up to this time, for Apple to respond to Amazon by going all DRM themselves. Are some of the labels not letting Apple do that because of the cut they're getting (or not getting)? Does is mean Amazon is giving the labels a bigger cut than Apple is? Or, are some of the labels consciously trying to disperse the power by limiting Apple access?