Amazon picks a fight with iTunes

It could be the irresistible e-tailing force versus the immoveable white object this summer – Amazon is planning to launch an Apple-bothering jukebox

It could be the irresistible e-tailing force versus the immoveable white object this summer – Amazon is planning to launch an Apple-bothering jukebox and music download service.

According to the Wall Street Journal which isn’t prone to wild speculation, the web super-giant is already in advanced talks with the big four music companies – Sony BMG, Warner Music, EMI and Universal – about providing content for an online music store, and has sounded out Samsung about manufacturing an Amazon ‘aPod’.

They’ll all be keen to ink a deal soon – Amazon will be hit by declining CD sales if it stays out of the digital game for too long, and music execs are keen to back an iTunes rival to erode Apple’s monopoly on download prices.

The music store is likely to be a PlaysForSure subscription service in the vein of Napster To Go but Amazon is apparently also planning to ape the mobile phone industry’s favourite trick and heavily subsidise its jukebox to subscribers.  

Undercutting Apple like this could be a smart way of at least loosening its stranglehold on digital music, and Amazon’s 55 million strong customer army isn’t a bad platform to start on either. A company spokesperson did, though, dismiss the news as ‘rumour and speculation’ – we’ll let you know as soon as it becomes hardened fact.

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