iTunes and Amazon: A look back

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You’ve undoubtedly heard the news that Apple has reduced the price of its iTunes Plus tracks from $1.29 to 99 cents as well as added a slew of independent artists to the iTunes Plus team. Many (and I count myself among them) feel that the existence of AmazonMP3 helped push this along. But how did we feel about it just three weeks ago? Let’s take a look at my first look at AmazonMP3 along with the reader comments that accompanied it:

I said:

At this point I’m going to keep a keen eye on Amazon MP3. If you have the option to purchase the music you want from either store, it’s tempting to put up with the inconvenience of Amazon’s interface to buy music less-expensively (and in unprotected form). If only for the sake of the kind of healthy competition that drives the iTunes Store to greater heights I welcome Amazon to the fray.

For this I present myself the coveted Linked Finger Drawing One Point In The Air award.

Forum visitor HyperZboy gets a similar prize for this comment:

I hope Amazon & iTunes make for a great checks and balances situation in the marketplace both against the record execs and against pirating. And it could be a win-win for consumers.

Terrin’s crystal ball, on the other hand, was a little cloudy:

If the market buys from Amazon based on price, they are the fools because six months from now when the labels start removing music from iTunes, effectively killing it, the market will be charged more at Amazon. After all that is what the labels want: more money. If Amazon’s music business is successful, iTunes will be nothing more then a fond memory.

Whitedog suggests who the real losers will be:

The real victims of Amazon’s move into the music download business will be all those other music services struggling for survival on the margins — like the Zune Marketplace. And, if their music download service cuts into their CD sales, Amazon will do no worse than break even.

Finally, Ahasver’s voice may have been among the chorus that pushed Apple to make these changes:

I don’t know about you guys but I love the new service. Sure it’s a little less convenient but no drm that is what I wanted [and] a fair pricing system. Regular albums go for $9.99 [and] that sounds about right for this kind of quality (256kbps). I hope Apple is able to get on with this drm free music because honestly if they don’t I’ll be checking on Amazon first if they have what I want….

But if they can match Amazon offerings count me in again…

Me too.

This story, "iTunes and Amazon: A look back" was originally published by PCWorld.

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