Amazon just upped the ante in the cloud music wars (oh yes, that’s a thing now) by announcing some enticing new offers and features for its Cloud Drive service.
Cloud Drive, you’ll remember, is Amazon’s version of iTunes. You pay your fee and get to keep all your music on Amazon’s servers. Listening to stuff is as easy as clicking a play button in a web browser.
When it first launched, there were grumblings of iDiscontent because the player wasn’t officially supported on Apple’s mobile devices, but that’s one of the things Amazon’s just fixed. From now on, the Cloud Player works just fine on an iPad.
The other slice of new is a time-limited special offer, clearly designed to lure in new customers: free music storage with all paid file storage plans.
That means you can sign up for the basic 20GB storage offer, and you’ll be allowed to upload your entire 200GB music collection without making a dent in your allowance. You’ll still have 20GB free for, you know, all your other stuff. Whatever that is. The entry-level free service, offering 5GB of file storage, is not included in the special offer.
So the deal’s pretty clear: if you want to put your entire music collection the cloud, you can, for a minimum spend of $20 per year. There’s no need to pay out for storage that matches the size of your music library.
Amazon will also now store any and all MP3 purchases from its store for free—purchased tracks won’t count against your storage quota.
Why is Amazon doing this? It might be a preemptive strike, designed to prevent people moving their files to rival services from Google and Apple. It might simply be because paid storage services haven’t been as popular as hoped.
Either way it’s good news for the rest of us. As the big brands fight ever dirtier battles to win the cloud music wars (told you it was a thing), prices are going to keep coming down and the deals will keep getting sweeter.