Amazon eyes up iTunes' crown – despite flat launch

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Did you hear about the new Amazon MP3 store opening this week?  It was a rather subdued launch.  I only heard about it briefly on Radio 1 news yesterday – suffice to say, the PR campaign was surprisingly low-key.

I took a look at the Amazon website this morning to find out more, and I have to admit that the ad-banners didn’t really jump out at me.  It makes me wonder why this new offering wasn’t shouted about more in the press.

The main selling point for Amazon is that the tracks on sale are not rights managed. This means that unlike Apple’s iTunes, they can be played on various different formats and are not dependent on a single piece of hardware like the iPod and iTunes.

Also, price is a key differentiator from other businesses that offer downloadable music.  A single track costs from 59p and chart albums costs £3.00.  When compared to iTunes prices, this must be an attractive proposition during the credit crunch.

Amazon has a name that consumers trust, and smaller retailers such as 7Digital should be concerned that they’ll no doubt begin to dominate the 20% market share left to them by Apple.

I doubt very much that Amazon will make even the smallest dent in the dominance of Apple.  Even so, I’m sure that a bigger marketing push in the first place would have helped them kick things off the right way!