Just weeks after the launch of their new cloud based music storage service, Amazon have fired a shot across Apple’s bows by announcing that they’re planning to offer individual mp3s for sale for just 69 cents through their Amazon MP3 Store. Amazon has dropped its pants by reducing the price of many chart topping mp3s from their previous price of 89 cents. This is in contrast to the nominal iTunes price of $1.29, which seems certain to set off a price war between the music retailers.
Apple currently dominates the digital music market, with around 70 per cent of the legal download market, while Amazon is a relative minnow with only 10 per cent. However, this move, which is blatantly designed to assist it muscle in on the growing market. Analysts seem divided over the move, with Russ Crupnick, a digital music market analysts telling the Los Angeles Times “The average music consumer spends $46 a year on digital music, which is half of what it was last year. The question is not whether you can sell a 69-cent track. It’s whether you can get a customer to spend $69.”
Whether this move by Amazon succeeds in gaining it long term increases in market share remains to be seen, but in the meantime music fans are set to be the winners in an mp3 price war.