Amazon.com, which has been developing its online music service for a long time now (and we reported on it here first), has been thinking of launching its own branded players for the service, reports WSJ. Also planned: a subscription service that would deeply discount and preload those devices with songs.
Amazon sells an estimated 10% of digital music players in the U.S., including iPods, and the pending deal could hurt its relationship with Apple.
The service could be launched as soon as this summer, but hasn’t yet finalized deals with the labels.
On the preloaded part, it could be based on factors such as the subscriber’s personal CD-buying history on the site. The preloaded music could be kept on the player as long as the customer pays the monthly fee, but could also be swapped out for other songs during the course of the subscription.
Of course the biggest questions: whether Amazon’s massive customer base is enough to offset a long delay in entering the online music business; and whether Amazon has the sex-appeal very neccesary in a lifestyle-heavy service like this.
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