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Amazon is in talks with four major music companies about starting its own music download service this summer, according to The Wall Street Journal. The online retailing giant is also talking about selling an Amazon-branded portable music player. The four music companies Amazon is talking to are Universal, Sony BMG, Warner and EMI.

Amazon is already in a good position to develop a music service because it already has 55 million customer accounts, and these users are already set to seamlessly buy music with a single click. The company has been preparing for this new service, hiring 3,000 people to work on digital content initiatives over the past year.


Another likely aspect of the Amazon service would be a subscription business model, where its digital music player would be offered for free or at a low price. Amazon would also use the information about what its customers have previously purchased to preload these players with music. Pricing is expected to be competitive with other subscription services—around $15 a month.

Amazon Plans Music Service To Rival iPod [The Wall Street Journal via Tech Dirt]