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06 December 2008

Amazon UK Starts MP3 Dowloads

DRM-Free MP3s from £3 an Album

 

Amazon started offering MP3 downloads this week on its UK site.

Prices start from under £2 an album and from £3 an album for popular chart hits like the recently released The Circus from reformed 90s boy band, Take That.

The company has offered MP3 downloads on its US site for some time now and acquired the Audible talking books download site earlier this year.   The UK MP3 downloads service was introduced without prior announcement at what is traditionally the most important time for online music sales - the run up to the Christmas break.

Amazon faces strong competition for music downloads in the UK with Apple's iTunes store the dominant market leader.  Other competitors include Virginmedia.com and HMV.co.uk.

Significantly, Amazon says all its MP3 downloads will be free from DRM restrictions.

 

Physical sales of CDs have been and continue to be disrupted by problems at the distribution arm of the collapsed retail group Woolworths.  Before Woolworths went into administration, Entertainment UK was responsible for distributing CDs and DVDs to a number of retailers and online stores.

Problems associated with Entertainment UK were blamed for the ongoing suspension of Zavvi's online music sales.  Zavvi continues to sell from it's physical retail stores of which it has 125 in the UK and Ireland.

The UK music industry faced another blow this week with the collapse of Pinnacle Entertainment - a distributor for many independent record labels including One Little Indian.

 

 

 

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