BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhuanet) — Amazon.com said on Wednesday the company will launch a digital music store later in 2007, selling only music tracks free of copy protection. Amazon will be authorized to sell the music catalog of EMI Music Group and other record companies would follow, according to media reports.
Experts are dismissing this move as a second-rate effort aimed at shadowing Apple’s iTunes service.
“The announcement is a carbon copy of Apple’s deal with EMI,” said Gene Munster, an analyst with PiperJaffray. “Amazon will offer the same DRM-free tracks as iTunes, and therefore will have no competitive advantage over Apple.”
Amazon founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos said: “Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device.”
Digital Rights Management, or DRM, locks digital tracks so that they can not be copied from mobiles to laptops or to friends’ devices.
Amazon has not yet determined pricing per song or per album.