The Music Wars Continue: Amazon Lowers MP3 Prices to 69 Cents

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For years, Apple’s iTunes has ruled the music-downloading world, conquering unsuspecting tweens one song at a time. But imagine if a new day were to come – one where Amazon would dominate, and you could get the most popular songs for a fraction of the normal price.

Only possible in an alternate reality? Not exactly. Amazon has a ways to go before it’s king of the hill–it currently holds only 10% of overall online music market share–but it is indeed selling top music hits for 20 cents a piece less. Yep, that means you can now splurge guilt-free on a copy of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”

In a shrewd move designed to make Apple nervous, Amazon just lowered its song prices to 69 cents, nearly half the cost of iTunes’ songs, which typically run $1.29.

This isn’t Amazon’s first strategic attempt to tangle with Apple. Amazon’s tried already to diminish the company’s dominance over digital music downloads. In March, it launched its music locker service, but that’s currently having its own issues. And chipping away at Apple’s 70% market share is no mean feat.

But will this new aggressive pricing move make waves?

Possibly, but the price cut may also simply bring the site more buyers looking for a one-time cheap deal instead of cultivating loyal customers.

“The average music consumer spends $46 a year on digital music, which is half of what it was last year,” Russ Crupnick, a digital music analyst at the NPD Group, told the Los Angeles Times. “The question is not whether you can sell a 69-cent track. It’s whether you can get a customer to spend $69.”

In other words, don’t count your chickens just yet, Amazon.

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