February 4, 2013, 10:50 AM

With a free digital music archive, Amazon undercuts rivals, again

With a free digital music archive, Amazon undercuts rivals, again.

With a free digital music archive, Amazon undercuts rivals, again

Amazon.com Inc. debuted last month a service that could be said to symbolize—and perhaps bridge—generational divides in music.

Amazon's new Amazon AutoRip service lets consumers receive digital versions of CDs bought from the e-retailer. What's more, the offer applies to CDs purchased from Amazon as long ago as 1998.

After a CD purchase, Amazon immediately loads the MP3 files in consumers' Cloud Player libraries, part of the e-retailer's Cloud Drive service. Music fans can listen to their Cloud Player songs on such devices as Kindle Fire tablets, Android phones or tablets, iPhones, iPod touches and Samsung TVs, as well as via web browsers. The e-retailer says more than 50,000 CDs are included in the AutoRip service.

This move represents Amazon's latest push to extend its influence in digital entertainment, and take on rivals like Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Amazon in January announced a deal with A+E Television Networks that brings the e-retailer's total number of streaming videos offered through the Amazon Prime shipping service to more than 33,000. For $79 a year, Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping plus access to that entertainment.

thad@verticalwebmedia.com

@ThadRueterIR

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