Digital Music

Apple Finally Notices Amazon MP3 & Declares War

image from g-ecx.images-amazon.com (Updated) iTunes has always done things its own way. What its competitors did was not Apple's concern.  After all, ITunes controls the vast majority of the download market.

But that'simage from www.nothingstaysgolden.com starting to change and Amazon MP3's Daily Deal is the target. The Daily Deal usually prices a current release for $1.99 – $3.99 for a single day. Sometime last year according to Billboard, Amazon began asking labels to give it a 1 day exclusive and digital marketing support as part of the Daily Deal package. "When that happened," according to one label exec, "iTunes said, 'Enough of that shit."

iTunes representatives have reportedly asked labels not to participate in Amazon's promotions and have withdrawn their own support for some releases featured as Daily Deals. "The whole issue is a kind of interesting dynamic," says one major label exec. "Amazon is fighting a guerrilla war against iTunes, and now iTunes is getting frustrated because they work hard to set up and promote a release weeks in advance of the street date, and then lo and behold, Amazon jumps in there with this deal of the day and scrapes off some of the cream."

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6 Comments

  1. Seems to me that success vomes from the ability to be flexible. Cramming a square peg into a round hole has been a bad idea for a long time. Apple has done pretty well for itself because of their ability to flex. So who knows why they are whining here. Either they’ll get over it or lose.
    Tom Siegel
    http://www.indieleap.com

  2. It’s rather scary that the two main competitors in online music market share fight out their competition on the back of those that provide the product they sell. After all, the labels own the content, not iTunes or amazon. They are merely channels. That behaviour is what’s tough when you have a monopolist in the business.

  3. Ah, so people are finally noticing. 🙂 There is no significant music retailer left who depends on the health & survival of a recorded music business. Apple, Amazon, Wal-Mart and Best Buy would all do fine if the sale of recorded music declined to zero.
    This is continuing the trend which began with the Big Box stores’ loss leader offerings, selling CDs below wholesale. The labels tried to fight it with the Minimum Advertised Price policy, but that got slapped down as unlawful price fixing.
    Perhaps the future of recorded music is either (1) patronage, or (2) loss leader to some other product like cell phones or ISP service.

  4. …and actually, if anyone at amazonmp3 is reading this, I’d love to work there. I really appreciate their large-scale innovation. Quick customer service, high-fidelity files (that aren’t held back by any limits like, cough…iTunes), and great daily/monthly deals incentivizing buying (which really just leads to more buying. I think much of the music I’ve bought there has been a product of seeing an artist on the daily deal and wanting to hear more).

  5. For consumers, at least from my perspective, Amazon has been outplaying iTunes for a very long time now. I’ve actually been wondering when Apple would wake up and notice how well Amazon is doing with their MP3 download service — free singles AND samplers (I’ve seen some of the same content for pay on iTunes), monthly $5 album selections, and yes, the deal of the day. I’m still a regular consumer of music thanks to Amazon’s efforts, and actually look forward to stopping by when I have the chance to see what the daily featured offer is. When there’s something I’m interested in for $1.99, of course I’ll download it. But I also continue and pay regular price (which seems to be, on average, approx. $1 less than Apple) for other recordings that catch my attention. Now that Apple sort of realizes that it’s losing/lost the business of myself and others, they seem to be behaving like Microsoft. [e-sigh] Nice job, folks…

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