Just a few days after our coverage of DRM-free music options for 2008 comes news of Sony BMG now offering its music on Amazon restriction-free. Sony BMG represents artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Santana, and Justin Timberlake. And this makes Amazon the first online music store to offer DRM-free songs from all four major labels: Sony BMG, Warner, EMI, and Universal Music.
Sony has uploaded around 200,000 tracks to Amazon so far (the most actively purchased music), but the company’s entire catalog apparently will be uploaded over time. I reviewed Amazon MP3 when it first came out and switched to it from iTunes as my preference for buying music online.
Amazon MP3 is better (for me, at least) for the following reasons: it’s cheaper ($0.89/track), it’s all DRM-Free, it’s higher quality (256 kbps), it’s more accessible (MP3), and there are no switching costs (integrates seamlessly with iTunes). If you haven’t already, check out Amazon MP3 here.
See Amazon’s press release below:
SEATTLE–January 10, 2008–Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that DRM-free MP3 music downloads from SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT will be available to customers on Amazon MP3, Amazon’s DRM-free MP3 digital music store where every song is playable on virtually any digital music-capable device, including PCs, Macs®, iPod®, Zune®, Zen®, iPhone™, RAZR™ and BlackBerry®. When SONY BMG is added later this month, Amazon MP3 will be the only retailer to offer customers DRM-free MP3s from all four major music labels, as well as over 33,000 independent labels. Amazon MP3 customers will discover DRM-free MP3s from SONY BMG’s vast rosters of artists representing virtually every genre of music.
“We are excited to offer Amazon MP3 customers DRM-free MP3s from SONY BMG, which represents many of the most popular musicians from the past and present,” said Bill Carr, Amazon.com Vice President for Digital Music. “Our Amazon MP3 customers will be able to choose from a full selection of DRM-free music downloads from all four major labels and over 33,000 independents that they can play on virtually any music-capable device.”
“We are excited to be working with Amazon as they continue to build new markets for digital music,” commented Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business & U.S. Sales, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. “We are constantly exploring new ways of making our music available to consumers in the physical space, over the internet and through mobile phones, and this initiative is the newest element of our ongoing campaign to bring our music to fans wherever they happen to be.”
Launched in September 2007, Amazon MP3 offers Earth’s Biggest Selection of a la carte DRM-free MP3 music downloads, which now includes over 3.1 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 (DRM) software and is encoded at 256 Kbps to deliver high audio quality. Amazon MP3 customers are free to enjoy their music downloads using any hardware device, including PCs, Macs®, iPod®, Zune®, Zen®, iPhone™, RAZR™ and BlackBerry®; organize their music using any music management application such as iTunes® or Windows Media Player™; and burn songs to CDs for personal use.
Most songs available on Amazon MP3 are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents, with more than 1 million of the over 3.1 million songs priced at 89 cents. The top 100 bestselling songs are 89 cents, unless marked otherwise. Most albums are priced from $5.99 to $9.99. The top 100 bestselling albums are $8.99 or less, unless marked otherwise. Buying and downloading MP3s from Amazon MP3 is easy. Customers can purchase downloads using Amazon 1-Click shopping, and with the Amazon MP3 Downloader, seamlessly add their MP3s to their iTunes® or Windows Media Player™ libraries.