Amazon Close To MP3 Store's International Rollout
January 28, 2008 at 5:27 AM (PT)
AMAZON.COM will begin an international rollout of AMAZON MP3, AMAZON’s DRM-free MP3 digital music store. "We have received thousands of e-mails from AMAZON customers around the world asking us when we will make AMAZON MP3 available outside of the U.S. They can’t wait to choose from the biggest selection of high-quality, low-priced DRM-free MP3 music downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future," said AMAZON.COM VP/Digital Music BILL CARR. "We are excited to tell those customers today that AMAZON MP3 is going international this year."
Launched on AMAZON.COM in SEPTEMBER 2007, AMAZON MP3 offers a selection of a la carte DRM-free MP3 music downloads, which now includes over 3.3 million songs from more than 270,000 artists. Every song and album in the AMAZON MP3 music download store is available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management software and is encoded at 256 kbps to deliver high audio quality.
The company is not disclosing a specific launch timeline for individual AMAZON international websites.
Yes Or No From UMG?
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, the globe's biggest music label, reportedly isn't on board yet.
Last summer UMG joined EMI in selling DRM-free MP3s at AMAZON's music store, in a bid to create a rival to APPLE's ITUNES. SONY-BMG and WARNER MUSIC GROUP have followed suit. But UMG has always described the DRM-free sales as a "test" which is supposed to expire soon.
And asked about the test's results yesterday at the MIDEM music conference, VIVENDI CEO JEAN-BERNARD LEVY refused to commit his company to AMAZON, according to SILICON ALLEY INSIDER, “We don’t want to make too many comments at this stage -- we are still watching and, in time, we will make some decisions.”