Amazon.com announced today its plans to take its DRM-free
MP3 digital music store international in 2008.
Amazon MP3 offers DRM-free digital music that can be played on any music
device such as PC, Microsoft’s Zune, or Apple’s iPod, according to a press
release. The online bazaar currently has
agreements with over 33,000 independent music labels as well as the big four.
"We have received thousands of
e-mails from Amazon customers around the world asking us when we will make
Amazon MP3 available outside of the U.S,” said Bill Carr, Vice President of
Digital Music at Amazon. com. ”We are
excited to tell those customers today that Amazon MP3 is going international
Amazon hosts up to 3.3 million songs from over 270,000
artists, exclusively in MP3 format. Each
MP3 is encoded at 256 kbps and can be played with most software along with
hardware. Most MP3’s hosted by the site
are priced from 89 cents to 99 cents, with full albums priced from $5.99 to
With the international rollout of its DRM-free music
download service, the company hopes to become the top seller of digital music over
other services such as Apple’s iTunes music store. With the initial launching of its service in
late September of last year, Amazon MP3 has grown into a powerhouse, offering
cheaper downloads. The company also hosts a wider selection of DRM-free digital
music than any of its top competitors.
Yahoo plans to open a similar service to rival that of
Amazon’s. It faces the challenges of
building agreements with major labels as well finding measures to separate itself
Amazon.com has not yet announced the timeline for the
rollout of its international websites.