Amazon to Launch Music Download Service? 
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Friday, 05 August 2005

According to the Wall Street Journal, is getting ready to start its own digital music service. Even though the company has not confirmed the report, the newspaper suggests has already met with record-label executives to discuss licensing their music. MusicNet, an online music provider who has partnered with Yahoo! Music and Virgin Digital among others, is reportedly being considered to support’s service. The newspaper also points out that recently posted a job advertisement online, looking for a content acquisition manager for a “forthcoming Digital Music Service”.

Downloads could be available for purchase on a single-song basis or as part of a monthly subscription package. Regardless of the model settles on, it will be facing competition from a number of existing services like iTunes, Napster, eMusic, Yahoo! Music and Rhapsody to name a few. The iTunes music store is the most popular of these with over 500 million songs sold to date, but has the potential to change that. The online retailer is a late entrant so it has a lot of catching up to do, but it also has a very strong brand with a wide appeal. If the company is able to successfully integrate its digital music service, people who have never purchased music downloads before might do so just because it’s there and it’s easy enough to put a song in the shopping cart along with that new digital camera or DVD Player. Ultimately the success of the music service will depend on the service itself: is it easy to use? does it require extra software? how good and diverse is the catalog?

According to the Wall Street Journal, plans to launch the new service by the end of the year.

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