Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been very active in the news since the calendar changed into 2013. We’ve covered some of those items here. And here. And here. There seems to be some positive momentum building for the company after a reported strong holiday season, which would be sweet music to investors like billionaire Jim Chanos of Kynikos.
But now, today’s news adds to that sweet music … digitally, of course.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced a new music service called AutoRip, which is likely designed to serve as a direct competitor to the immensely popular iTunes by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The goal of this new service, says Amazon, is to increase usage of its Cloud Player service and perhsp drive up music sales to take some market share away from the iTunes store.
The concept of AutoRip is to provide a digital download of a CD that users buy or have bought through Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) over the last 15 years. There are about 50,000 CDs that currently have digital versions available on Amazon – considered the most popular purchases on the site – and those digital CDs will be added to a user’s Cloud Player library for playing anytime.
“When we picked those 50,000 titles we focused on having a substantial majority of our physical CD sales covered,” said Steve Boom, head of digital music for Amazon.com. Among those titles that have free digital downloads are “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and “Overexposed” by Maroon 5. “People will be exposed to Cloud Player and our digital music offering, which is a good thing,” Boom said. “We want to take this global.”
It is estimated that Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) owns about 15 percent of the digital music market since opening in 2007, but the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes store has more than 50 percent of the market. While 15 percent is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to a growing market, should Amazon just be working to maintain that level as the market grows?