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Amazon Aims to Syphon Users from Google and Apple with New “AutoRip” Service

Sites include . Published on January 13th, 2013. Written by Anthony West.

People don’t buy CDs much these days and much of our music consumption is done via our smartphone or tablets. This presents a wonderful opportunity for distributors and for the last few years a bitter three-way battle has been waged between Amazon, Google and Apple. All three sell music to users via their respective marketplaces and for dedicated apps and devices.

Amazon however has never really stood out as a provider of popular music and content distribution and aside from Kindle books, there’s a lot that Amazon doesn’t do very well by way of selling content. The company is looking to change that and has just announced a new service dedicated to music and music consumption. The company’s Amazon Cloud Player (much like Apple’s iCloud) will allow users to access new music content as well as all the content that was bought via Amazon back in 1998—this was the year the company launched is music store.

AutoRip filled with albums

The service hasn’t been officially launched and Amazon is just managing its publicity by confirming a few details of leaks that have come out. One such detail is the fact that AutoRip will come preloaded with over 50,000 albums on Amazon. What’s more, amazon will keep adding to this very large pool of albums with new releases, updates as well as an extensive back catalog.

Amazon has taken this bold step to compete directly with the likes of Apple on the strength of partnerships it has formed with major record labels. Steve Bloom, Amazon’s VP of Worldwide Digital Music cites EMI/Universal, Sony and Warner as three big partners which have facilitated the AutoRip offerings. He also points out that Amazon has secured partnerships with “hundreds, if not thousands.”

Kindle the real driver

Aside from the major partnerships that have helped AutoRip become a reality we cannot ignore the importance or perhaps more significant contribution of sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet. Last Christmas Amazon had a one of its biggest holiday season yet in terms of sales—this was largely powered by sales of its Kindle Fire tablet. Sales of the Kindle Fire HD topped every single product category on amazon’s website over the holiday shopping season and this helped solidify the device as very good alternative to the pricier iPad and other tablets in its class.

Couple the popularity of the Kindle Fire tablet and the fact that Amazon has made it possible for device owners of other tablets to use its Cloud Player service and you can see why AutoRip may be the biggest thing to happen for music consumption so far this year. Streaming content providers like Spotify may also run into Amazon has it tries to lure new subscribers.

When the service does launch Amazon shoppers will have the option at checkout to with their favorite music by auto-ripping and having the song stored automatically to their Cloud Player account. Music can then be synced across all platform and devices in a simple, unobtrusive manner.

There’s been no reaction yet from Google or Apple but knowing how competitive both are, it shouldn’t be too long before they release a product that rivals AutoRip.

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