Amazon’s music store is already in 2nd place after the iTunes Store
Amazon MP3 is quickly catching up with iTunes despite being on the market for a relatively short time, according to new data.
Launched in September, the web-based music store is now ranked second in the US and is the highest ranked store for offering all of its tracks DRM-free. The success is largely attributed to the lack of copy protection, which allows songs to be played on almost any modern operating system as well as any portable device, including historically locked devices like the iPod or Zune.
A larger catalog is also cited as the key to Amazon’s success. Although Amazon stocks 4.5 million songs to Apple’s 6 million, the former store includes albums rarely found online, such as Radiohead’s comeback catalog as well as Jay-Z’s American Gangster. Amazon is also the only store to have secured four major labels for DRM-free music and keeps much more of the content unprotected.
iTunes was the first to offer DRM-free major label tracks in spring 2007, but remains limited to 2 million tracks from EMI as well as numerous independents.
Amazon’s offering was also helped at first by lower prices, which sold some songs for as little as 89 cents versus $1.29 charged for unprotected iTunes music.