Amazon Close To Setting Music Store Launch Date
August 31, 2007 at 5:46 AM (PT)
AMAZON.COM is set to challange APPLE's iTUNES. The online retail giant has tentatively set a mid-SEPTEMBER target for the launch of its long-anticipated music service, sources told THE NY POST. The current thinking on a launch date for the AMAZON mp3 store is the week of SEPTEMBER 17th. However, industry insiders aware of AMAZON's plan caution that it remains a moving target.
The service is expected to carry somewhere around 1 million tracks at launch, featuring music from UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, EMI and a large number of independent labels. But it will be missing music from two notable sources, SONY BMG and WARNER MUSIC GROUP. Both companies require retailers to sell downloads with digital locks that discourage piracy -- technology known as digital rights management.
Initial indications from sources suggest that the retailer is keen on keeping prices low in order to best compete with iTUNES. Unlike APPLE, which charges 99 cents for songs with DRM and $1.29 for unprotected tracks, AMAZON is expected to have at least two prices for individual songs: 99 cents for new and popular mp3s, and 89 cents for music from emerging artists and back catalog tracks.
Albums are expected to cost between $7.99 and $9.99.