Amazon is making another major push to chip away at Apple’s dominance in online music with the launch of an MP3 store optimized for devices like the iPhone and the iPod touch. The store, with a catalogue of 22 million songs, lets users buy songs using their Apple devices and listen to them using Amazon’s Cloud Player app.
The service is browser-based (you can see the specially-formatted for Safari mobile website here) which lets Amazon avoid the 30 percent commission that Apple takes for all sales that take place in iTunes. When a consumer makes a purchase, the music is stored in the cloud and can be accessed in the cloud or saved to a library and played from a variety of devices, including those running Android. The service will also offer daily deals like 69 cent songs and $5 albums as well as individualized recommendations based on purchase history.
“Since the launch of the Amazon Cloud Player app for iPhone and iPod touch, a top request from customers has been the ability to buy music from Amazon right from their devices,” said Amazon’s VP of Music Steve Boom in a Thursday release announcing the store.
From a strategic perspective, the offering shows Amazon’s determination to muscle into the cloud-based entertainment market which, on the music front, is dominated by Apple and Google.
Last week, Amazon offered another incentive for consumers to try its cloud service by providing a free digital copy of any CD they have bought in the last 15 years. The deal also applied to new CDs they buy.