iTunes Still Well Ahead of Amazon MP3 Store

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Reuters reports on the latest data tracking digital music downloads. Specifically, they look at Amazon's MP3 downloads after a full year of sales. According to their data, Amazon remains a distant second to iTunes:
    This brings Amazon's estimate to only 8 percent of the digital music download market share without any major gains. This lack of success could influence record labels in their ongoing negotiations with Apple. Amazon MP3 offerings have been seen by music studios as a way to reduce Apple's foothold in the digital download market. Unlike Apple, Amazon has had access to DRM-free song licensing from all of the major record labels. The labels are still hoping that Amazon will gain ground over the next year.

    The labels are said to be demanding more concessions from Apple as they negotiate for DRM-free music in the iTunes Store. Possibilities include variable track pricing and watermarking of individual tracks.

    Article Link: iTunes Still Well Ahead of Amazon MP3 Store
  2. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Any online music purchases I make are from Amazon. Higher quality, cheaper prices, and absolutely no DRM.
  3. joeconvert macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2003
    I love the lack of DRM in the Amazon store and the quality isn't bad.

    I just don't get how the studios are allowed to operate like this. I mean what if Microsoft decided to not sell HP Windows 7 because they though they had too much market power and only Dell will be allowed to have it...
  4. sososowhat macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2003
    Palo Alto, CA
    How can Amazon be at 8% when 130 Million tracks is just 5.4% of iTunes alone?

    It must be more like 5%. Without any signs of gaining.
  5. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
  6. mogzieee macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2008
    London, UK
  7. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    On the one hand I like that Amazon is all high-quality DRM-free files.

    I want to see more of that.

    BUT I am kind of happy they are doing poorly because it gives Apple the power to say to the labels: "Look, we're still in charge, here's what we want to do." Hopefully Apple can squash some of the sillier changes they want made to the iTunes store. (It's also great to see the labels attempt to undermine iTunes (by favoring Amazon) failing on them. You gotta love that.)

    Now, if they can make iTunes 100% DRM-free (with music anyway) then I certainly wish Amazon the best and would love to see them take a large part of the market at that point.

    But here and now, today, I'm kind of glad iTunes is still so powerful.
  8. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    If Amazon has the track or album I want, I'll buy from them first for better quality, cheaper and DRM-free music.
    Here's hoping this lack of market inroad makes the labels think twice about shutting iTunes out of the good stuff. If iTMS offered the same quality/price, I'd probably never look to Amazon or anyone else.
  9. alexbates macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Georgia, USA
    I think Apple could stop them if they soon turn iTunes into all iTunes Plus and DRM-free.
  10. Rojo macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2006
    This comes at absolutely NO surprise.
    At the end of the day, people want ease of use and something they're familiar with. Amazon may be cheaper and better quality, but their selection just isn't as good, and it's just a bigger hassle than getting stuff on iTunes.

    Hopefully this gives Apple the leverage to demand DRM-free music from ALL the studios, and higher bitrate. I don't think Apple's going to ever get lower than 99 cents per track, but I'm fine with that.
  11. OddyOh macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2005
    Regina, SK, Canada

    iTunes works in Canada...Amazon Music Store does not. My choice is made for me. :(

    That said, I much prefer the iTunes interface to any other music store I've tried. The stupid store (Canada's only other option), doesn't let you remove songs from your cart...I had to restart my shopping in another browser. Lame? Yes.
  12. Furrybeagle macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2004

    Downloading from Amazon is surprisingly easy if you use their downloader. It imports straight into itunes, along with album artwork. In fact, previewing and searching works FASTER for me on Amazon than on iTunes (but that could also be my connection).

    Also, how exactly will the help apple get more DRM free tracks? If anything, won't it show the studios that people don't care about quality and drm? I'm just not seeing the connection (I don't mean to be flaming... I'm genuienely curious).
  13. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Almost all of the songs I am interested in is the same price. There were a few songs on Amazon that did not sound very good when I listened to the previews, so it made me a bit leery of buying from there, but it could be just simple paranoia. Anyways, I much prefer iTunes interface.

    I am not against watermarking, but variable prices just mean higher prices. I don't trust the labels. They will kill the goose that lays golden eggs as soon as they get a chance.
  14. Saladinos macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    DRM doesn't bother most people on iTunes. If you had an MP3 player other than an iPod, you wouldn't buy songs from the ITMS anyway. Hence we can assume that most people who buy from the store either don't have an MP3 player, or have an iPod. In either case DRM doesn't make a huge difference.

    I think Apple's right not to give in to the record labels. Flexible pricing is just a hassle. A like the flat pricing model - it ensures that I'm not going to be ripped by corporations who charge more because they can. Flat pricing is what made the iTunes store the best.
  15. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    I'm still irritated that, as an American, I can't buy mp3's from either or iTunes UK (although you used to be able to).

    There's lots of more obscure stuff that's only available on the UK stores, and if I want it I have to shell out $30 for the import CD.

    Just saying.
  16. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    I love Amazon's store. I do not love the selection. It is very easy and whoever said it is a hassel obviously has not used it. I get everything I can from them. I don't use iTunes for anything with DRM. I'd rather get the CD.

    As someone else said, I don't see how this gives Apple any leverage over DRM. If anything it shows most people don't care or know about DRM.
  17. TyWahn macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2003
    I want quality

    I'm less concerned about DRM than sound quality. I can't believe Apple is still selling mp3s at 128kbps.
    I ALWAYS check Amazon first for this reason alone. There isn't a good reason not to.
  18. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I imagine the thinking is that if Amazon doesn't succeed, the record companies have to play ball with apple. Right now, the cos. are trying to give Amazon advantages (no DRM), but it's not working. If it works, then the record cos. could say "stick it Apple, we'll sell on our terms" but not if Amazon doesn't work.

    Not sure how it plays out, but that's one way I suppose.
  19. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I always check Amazon first due to lack of DRM. But iTunes is a much slicker store experience. If iTunes offered more DRM-free music I'd switch back.
  20. JPark macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2006
    I'm a bit surprised. Amazon provided seamless integration with iTunes even on the Mac. Their tracks are cheaper, DRM-free, and higher quality. Since they came around, I haven't bought a single DRM-locked track from anywhere. If iTunes has it as a Plus track I might get it there. Otherwise I get it at Amazon.

    I would guess that ease of use is a big part of iTunes' continued dominance, but I think perhaps brand familiarity and customer confusion are another big part. For the longest time you (mostly) had to shop at iTunes if you wanted your tracks to work on your iPod. That's no longer the case, but I don't think the word has gotten out.
  21. yayaba macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2007
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Well for me it's just about convenience. I know using the Amazon downloader probably isn't that hard but for me I just don't want to deal with it. I just load up iTunes, hit Music Store, find what I want, and download it. I have an iPhone as a portable music player so the DRM doesn't bother me and I don't really care about sound quality that much (my 2.1 speakers were $15 from Office Max).

    I don't think the average person can tell the difference between sound quality between iTunes and Amazon. Kind of how like people can't tell the difference between 480i stretched and 720p (I sure can though!).
  22. slapppy macrumors 65816

    Mar 20, 2008
    The labels are sure bent on trying to destroy iTunes. To single out Apple from allowing to sell DRM free content, seems like an illegal tactic to to.
  23. jonathanbruck macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2007

    I think apple already watermarks itunes plus tracks: open one in a text editor and search for your name.
  24. sgibson macrumors regular


    Mar 24, 2008
    Regarding "Amazon has higher quality".

    If you look at the iTunes+ that is currently DRM free it is 256kbps AAC compared to Amazon's 320kbps MP3. Given that AAC is a much more efficient compression algorithm I would still say that iTunes edges out Amazon for the quality of the DRM free tracks, though probably not on the 128kbps, where it is merely comparable. As you get toward the higher bitrates most people will stop being able to hear the difference, either due to equipment that is unable to audibly display the differences or their personal threshold for perceptual differences.
  25. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    But once you convert those tracks into MP3 or any other format, your name is gone.

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