The world's largest online retailer
) recently announced that the AutoRip facility will now be
extended to vinyl records, in a bid to expand its cloud music
offerings to better compete with rivals like
Google Inc. (
The AutoRip facility was launched in January. It basically
enabled the creation of a free digital copy of any eligible CD
purchased on Amazon. com since the launch of its Music Store back
in 1998. The music files thus created are saved on customer
libraries at Amazon's datacenters and are available for download
or play through Amazon's Cloud Player.
Amazon has now announced that customers purchasing vinyl
records on Amazon.com will also receive free MP3 copies of those
tracks, which will be automatically added to their Cloud Player
Amazon's Cloud Player is a web storage application, which
allows people to listen to music from any computer or Android
device with Internet access. It allows streaming on devices such
as Kindle Fire, iOS and Android smartphones, and connected
Despite being the pioneer of online music storage for access
on any device, Amazon's Cloud Player is still far behind Apple's
iTunes. New rivals like Google as well as streaming services such
as Spotify, Deezer and Rdio have also entered the market.
According to the market research company, NPD Group, in the
second quarter, Apple accounted for 64% of U.S. music sales
online, followed by Amazon at 16%, Google at 5% and other
services making up the rest.
Amazon's strategy of offering users free digital copies of CDs
and vinyl records on its site makes its service more ambitious.
We believe AutoRip will expand Amazon's retail market share and
increase awareness of its Cloud Player. The extension of AutoRip
to vinyl records should bring in more users to Amazon cloud,
boosting its digital music sales and driving sales of Amazon's
other digital goods.
Also, Amazon had announced that its Cloud Player can now
stream music wirelessly through Roku streaming players. Amazon
offers Roku customers free download of the Amazon Cloud Player
channel from the Roku Channel Store.
Therefore, while iTunes still leads in the segment, Amazon's
tactics, its ongoing efforts and new ideas could help the company
pick up some market share.
Amazon is one of the leading players in the extremely
fast-growing retail e-commerce market and its strength lies in
its huge scale of offerings, its broad reach and platform
approach. While the strong growth prospects are making the market
more competitive, Amazon continues to maintain and even grow its
share on the back of its consistent and reliable services. In the
fourth quarter, Amazon's revenues of $21.3 billion were up, both
on a sequential and year-over-year basis.
Currently Amazon retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Online travel
), has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and is worth considering.
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