The best way to take on the UK MP3 download market? If you’re Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), by stealth. Today the e-tail giant quietly brought its MP3 download store to the UK this morning. Like its US forebear, there’s repertoire from all four majors, plus Cooking Vinyl, Harmonia Mundi, Beggars Banquet, The Orchard (NSDQ: ORCD), Concord and Ioda. There are three million non-DRM-protected songs; with top 20 albums available for £3 and single tracks for £0.59, the pre-Christmas music price war is officially on.
It’s a launch that had long been expected in the UK, but Play.com and 7Digital stole a march by staking out the DRM-free market this year – now those sites’ position as the only music download services with non-DRM major-label tracks has gone.
MusicAlly points at some holes in the catalogue on the indie side (no Oasis, for example) and notes that iTunes Store today lowered its price on a bunch of hit indie albums to under £4, perhaps in response to Amazon.
Could Amazon’s UK launch pave the way to the likely MySpace (NSDQ: NWS) Music rollout here early next year? Amazon MP3 is already MySpace Music’s retail partner in the US, just as it is for YouTube’s click-and-buy programme, also coming to Europe in the new year.